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« Guest Blogger - Terence Winch | Main | "John Ashbery: Created Spaces" »

July 28, 2008


I was one of those people furiously "scrambling and googling" frank O hara. Thanks so much for all the info!

Is Frank O'Hara in the picture on the book cover? Where was it taken? Who else is in the picture? Thanks. I'm going to get the book.

I'm only just finishing the first season of Mad Men. It makes me homesick for a New York that doesn't exist — if not the advertising career I once had — but I'm still determined to come back to the heart of noise and make it work, with my full heart, like Frank O'Hara. I'm not surprised to find Don Draper found something to like there.

Thank you for the comments. Julie, the cover photograph was taken in 1957 by Burt Glinn. It's called "A Back Table at the Five Spot." The Five Spot -- which figures in O'Hara's great poem about Billie Holiday's passing, "The Day Lady Died" -- was a great jazz bar in NYC (at or near Astor Place, I believe). Thelonious Monk played there regularly, but Monday was his night off, and the painter Larry Rivers, who played saxophone, persuaded the bar's owners to experiment with poetry and jazz on Monday evenings that year. Pictured are Frank O'Hara and Larry Rivers in the corner, with painter Grace Hartigan seated, cigarette in hand, between Rivers and an unidentified man wearing glasses. The man with the mustache on the left is the sculptor David Smith. He is talking to painter Helen Frankenthaler, whose back is to the camera. There was a lot of talent in the bar that night!

thanks for the info David - when the book showed up again in last week'
s episode I knew i had to find out more - and made me increasingly curious about that literary era - transition periods make for interesting tv, culture, prose and business - and i would say we are living in the midst of a big transition period!

all this attention to this poet and after reading some of his poems - I ask you - What's the big deal?

interesting a realy out there reference would be to have SRD Delany turn up and some trendy bar

Hello Mr. Lehman. My name is Heather Wagner and I am currently writing for AMC's Mad Men website. I would love to interview you for the site. Would you be interested in a brief phone or email interview? If so please contact me at your convenience. You can reach me at [email protected]. Thank you so much in advance for your consideration. -Heather Wagner

Only recently have I started watching Mad Men, and just finished the first episode. Thank you very much for this info, and this tremendous site which I'll be bookmarking.

“Pictures & Poetry” – Gallery Opening of Work by 4 Celebrated Photographers and Evening of Frank O’Hara Poetry

Pace University, NYC Downtown Campus (East of City Hall), Schimmel Gallery

Wednesday, November 18, 5:00-7:30 pm

Book Signing, Q & A, Refreshments, Free – Public Welcome

• Writing Worth Reading: An Evening of Frank O’Hara – Hettie Jones and Tony Towle offer personal anecdotes of the poet as they read from his work.

• Through the Lens - Selected black & white photography (31 images) featuring artists Sally Gall, Jerome Liebling, Caleb Cain Marcus and Jill Mathis. Collection donated by Nathan M. Perlmutter ‘71 and Rosalyn Perlmutter.

When/What: Wednesday, November 18, 2009. 5:00 to 6:00 p.m: Wine and Cheese reception. 6:00 to 7:30 p.m: An Evening of Frank O’Hara with poetry readings by Hettie Jones and Tony Towle, followed by question & answer session, book signing (books by all three poets available for sale) and dessert reception (coffee and sweets).

Why/Where: Season opening of The Gallery at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, 3 Spruce Street, New York City. Directions -

Who’s Who – Poetry Reading

Frank O’Hara. O’Hara is one of the most beloved poets in modern times. During the 1950s and 1960s - until his death in a tragic accident at the age of 40 – he was a charismatic figure in the New York City cultural world. In addition to being an innovative and highly influential poet, he was an art critic and an important curator at the Museum of Modern Art. He also led an involved, hectic social life which continues to fascinate readers.

Hettie Jones. Jones married the then unpublished poet LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka) in 1958. One of the few visible interracial couples at the time, the two were at the center of the downtown bohemian New York literary, jazz and art worlds. Her memoir How I Became Hettie Jones describes this period in her life and was listed by the New York Times in its Notable Books of the year. Her most recent poetry book, Doing 70, came out in 2007. She is the former Chair of the PEN Prison Writing Committee and currently a member of PEN’s Advisory Council.

Tony Towle. O’Hara was the mentor who changed his life. Since meeting O’Hara in 1962, Towle has published 12 books of poetry and a prose memoir and has received numerous awards, including the Gotham Book Mart Avant-Garde Poetry prize, an NEA Fellowship and an Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship. His book North (1970) was the third winner of the Frank O’Hara Award for Experimental Poetry. Like O’Hara, he has been involved in the art world, both as an art writer and as Administrative Assistant at the legendary printmaking center Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island, where he has worked with Larry Rivers, Robert Motherwell, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg and other prominent artists.

General Public RSVP: By November 16 to [email protected]

lmao it's 2020 and I'm watching mad men season 2. what's good. is this book out there on the internet by now? thanks.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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