Frank O'Hara's writing is central to any consideration of 20th century American poetry. This collection of essays, the first to be dedicated to O'Hara in nearly two decades, asks why O'Hara remains so important to 21st century readers and writers of poetry. The book is transatlantic in tone, combining American scholarship with a wide sampling of British writers. For many, O'Hara's distinctive appeal depends on his witty depictions of urban experience, his relationship to the painters of Abstract Expressionism and the exhilarating immediacy of his poetic voice. Yet these chatty and approachable qualities coexist with a testing engagement with currents in European and American modernism. Frank O'Hara Now offers a comprehensive picture of the poet, presenting the conversational insouciance of the writing alongside its more intransigent features.
Robert Hampson is Professor of Modern Literature, at Royal Holloway, University of London. Will Montgomery is RCUK Research Fellow in Contemporary Poetry and Poetics at Royal Holloway, University of London