Among the most significant post-war American poets, Frank O'Hara (1926-1966) grew up in Grafton, Massachusetts, 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.
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Press imprint, Poems Retrieved is a substantial part of Frank O'Hara's oeuvre, containing over 200 pages of previously unpublished poetry discovered after the publication of his posthumous Collected Poems in 1971.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, Poems 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."
"[O'Hara's] love for the wild vision, in all its artful abstraction, and his erudite passion for the common muse, has proven to be the true resonant poetry of our anxious human condition. We need him."
City Lights Books