Frank O’Hara, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the Evolution of Lunch Poems

“Frank O’Hara, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and the Evolution of Lunch Poems”

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

LFtoFOH_Lunch_Poems2-4

There’s been a lot of welcome attention lately to the 50th anniversary of Frank O’Hara’s 1964 book Lunch Poems, including a star-studded group reading of the book at the Poetry Project the other night.  As I mentioned before, City Lights Books has issued a new edition of the book that includes an introduction by John Ashbery and a series of letters between O’Hara and the editor and publisher of City Lights, the Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Fortunately, the other day the Paris Review posted a neat piece by Nicole Rudick that included a selection of these letters — four from O’Hara, followed by a brief postcard from Ferlinghetti.  Although scholars have discussed and quoted from the correspondence between O’Hara and Ferlinghetti about the publication of Lunch Poems before, this is the first time the letters have been published, so it’s a real treat to see them in print.

First, there is just the sheer pleasure…

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