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Poems Retrieved
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Poems Retrieved (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Originally published under Donald Allen's classic Grey Fox Press imprint, Poems Retrieved is a substantial part of Frank O'Hara's oeuvre, containing over two hundred pages of previously unpublished poetry discovered after the publication of his posthumous Collected Poems in 1971. Featuring a new introduction by O'Hara expert and friend, poet and art critic Bill Berkson, Retrieved has been completely reformatted and is essential for any reader of twentieth century poetry. As Berkson writes, "The breadth of what Frank O'Hara took to be poetry is reflected in the many kinds of poems he wrote...Turning the pages of any of his collections, you wonder what he didn't turn his hand to, what variety of poem he left untried or didn't, in some cases, as if in passing, anticipate." Among the most significant post-war American poets, Frank O'Hara grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts, graduating from Harvard in 1950. After earning an MA at the University of Michigan in 1951, O'Hara moved to New York, where he began working for the Museum of Modern Art and writing for Art News. By 1960, he was named the assistant curator of painting and sculpture exhibitions at MOMA.

Along with John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Barbara Guest, he is considered an original member of the New York School. Though he died in a tragic accident in 1966, recent references to O'Hara on TV shows like Mad Men or Thurston Moore's new record evidence our culture's continuing fascination with this innovative poet.

Fiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry by individual poets Publisher: City Lights Books Publication Date: 23/05/2013 ISBN-13: 9780872865976  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Frank O'Hara, the son of Russell Joseph O'Hara and Katherine (nee Broderick) was born on March 27, 1926, at Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore and grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts. He attended St. John's High School in Worcester. He grew up believing he had been born in June, but in fact had been born in March, his parents having disguised his true date of birth because he was conceived out of wedlock. He studied piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston from 1941 to 1944 and served in the South Pacific and Japan as a sonarman on the destroyer USS Nicholas during World War II. With the funding made available to veterans he attended Harvard University, where artist and writer Edward Gorey was his roommate. Although O'Hara majored in music and did some composing, his attendance was irregular and his interests disparate. He regularly attended classes in philosophy and theology, while writing impulsively in his spare time. O'Hara was heavily influenced by visual art and by contemporary music, which was his first love (he remained a fine piano player all his life and would often shock new partners by suddenly playing swathes of Rachmaninoff when visiting them). His favorite poets were Arthur Rimbaud, Stephane Mallarme, Boris Pasternak, and Vladimir Mayakovsky. While at Harvard, O'Hara met John Ashbery and began publishing poems in the Harvard Advocate. Despite his love of music, O'Hara changed his major and graduated from Harvard in 1950 with a degree in English. He then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, he won a Hopwood Award and received his M.A. in English literature in 1951. That autumn O'Hara moved into an apartment in New York City with Joe LeSueur, who would be his roommate and sometime lover for the next 11 years. It was in New York that he began teaching at The New School. Known throughout his life for his extreme sociability, passion, and warmth, O'Hara had hundreds of friends and lovers throughout his life, many from the New York art and poetry worlds. Soon after arriving in New York, he was employed at the front desk of the Museum of Modern Art and began to write seriously. O'Hara was active in the art world, working as a reviewer for Artnews, and in 1960 was Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions for the Museum of Modern Art. He was also friends with the artists Willem de Kooning, Norman Bluhm, Larry Rivers and Joan Mitchell. In the early morning hours of July 24, 1966, O'Hara was struck by a dune buggy on the Fire Island beach. He died the next day of a ruptured liver. O'Hara was buried in Green River Cemetery on Long Island. The painter Larry Rivers, a longtime friend and lover of O'Hara's, delivered the eulogy.

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