Synopses & Reviews
The definitive biography of Frank OHara, one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century, the magnetic literary figure at the center of New Yorks cultural life during the 1950s and 1960s.
City Poet captures the excitement and promise of mid-twentieth-century New York in the years when it became the epicenter of the art world, and illuminates the poet and artist at its heart. Brad Gooch traces Frank OHaras life from his parochial Catholic childhood to World War II, through his years at Harvard and New York. He brilliantly portrays OHara in in his element, surrounded by a circle of writers and artists who would transform Americas cultural landscape: Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, and John Ashbery.
Gooch brings into focus the artistry and influence of a life “of guts and wit and style and passion” (Luc Sante) that was tragically abbreviated in 1966 when OHara, just forty and at the height of his creativity, was hit and killed by a jeep on the beach at Fire Island—a death that marked the end of an exceptional career and a remarkable era.
City Poet is illustrated with 55 black and white photographs.
About the Author
Brad Goochis the author of the acclaimed biographies City Poet and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, as well as other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He lives in New York City.