Frank O'Hara was a pioneering modern American poet and playwright - an art critic, a musician, and a curator at the Museum of Modern Art - who defined New York City in its post-WWII heyday. For many these poems defined the city's midcentury zeitgeist. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in remarks on the 50th anniversary edition, said that the poems "established a certain tone, a certain turn of phrase, a certain urbane wit, at once gay and straight, that came to identify the New York school of poets in the 1960s and '70s".
O'Hara's wit and cool inspired the creator of AMC's hit television show Mad Men decades later - and writer Matthew Weiner performs the poet's work with charm and reverence, adding his own unique spin on the classic material.
About the Author
Among the most significant post-war American poets, Frank O'Hara grew up in Grafton, MA, graduating from Harvard in 1950. After earning an MA at 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 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 single evidence our culture’s continuing fascination with this innovative poet.