Frank O'Hara's 'Lunch Poems': 50th Anniversary All-Star Reading
Lunch Poems, first published in 1964 by City Lights Books as No. 19 in the Pocket Poets series, is a collaboration with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Donald Allen, who had published O’Hara’s poems in his monumental The New American Poetry in 1960. Lunch Poems contains some of O’Hara’s best-known works including “The Day Lady Died,” “Ave Maria” and “Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!).”
Known throughout his life for his sociability, passion and warmth, O’Hara had many great friends throughout his life many from the New York poetry, art and music worlds. Soon after arriving in New York, he was employed at the Museum of Modern Art, first selling postcards and then becoming assistant curator and later associate curator in painting and sculpture. He curated the David Smith retrospective (1966) that traveled to Europe, the Robert Motherwell retrospective (1965) at the MoMA and the Nakian retrospective (1966) at the MoMA.