City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara

Brad Gooch, Author Alfred A. Knopf $30 (532p) ISBN 978-0-394-57118-8
Short story writer and poet Gooch has written a fine and lively biography of O'Hara, who was killed at the age of 40 in 1966 by a speeding Jeep on the beach at Fire Island after living through the whirlwind of artistic and bohemian life in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. Born in Grafton, Mass., O'Hara left his strict Catholic father and alcoholic mother for the Navy before matriculating at Harvard and venturing to the University of Michigan. Gooch paints the everyday details of O'Hara's life--he was a published poet, a critic for ArtNews and a curator at the Museum of Modern Art --with friendly and specific strokes. His career, loves and influences in New York City are all here: correspondence with John Ashbery about William Carlos Williams; posing nude while employed at MOMA; angry bouts with abstract painter Grace Hartigan, etc. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC alternate. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Paperback - 532 pages - 978-0-06-097613-2
Hardcover - 978-0-517-14455-8
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-06-230341-7
Ebook - 576 pages - 978-0-06-230342-4
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