We just got the proof for the forthcoming 50th anniversary edition of Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems, a very exciting moment here at City Lights. This new limited 50th anniversary edition contains a preface by John Ashbery and an editor’s note by City Lights publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, along with facsimile reproductions of a selection of previously unpublished correspondence between Ferlinghetti and O’Hara that shed new light on the preparation of Lunch. We will have them for sale next month! Until then here’s an all O’Hara edition of your weekly Planet News.
Some charming / nerve wracking / salubrious memories of Frank here, with some poetry audio files at the end…
Painter John Button remarks: “When asked by a publisher-friend for a book, Frank might have trouble even finding the poems stuffed into kitchen drawers or packed in boxes that had not been unpacked since his last move. Frank’s fame came to him unlooked-for.”
More recordings of Frank reading here
Allen on O’Hara (writing, November 1966, in The Village Voice): “He (O’Hara) was at the center of an extraordinary poetic era…which gives his poetry its sense of historic monumentality..And he integrated purely personal life into the high art of composition, marking the return of all authority back to the person. His style is actually in line with the tradition that begins with Independence and runs through Thoreau and Whitman, here composed in metropolitan space age architecture environment. He taught me to really see New York for the first time, by making the giant style of Midtown his intimate cocktail environment. It’s like having Catallus change your view of the Forum in Rome…”
And Frank on Allen? Listen in right here