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Posts Tagged ‘City Lights Books’

Lunch Poem Letters

June 11, 2014 | by

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Toward the end of college and for several years after, I kept two postcard photographs taped above my desk: one of Anaïs Nin, the other of Frank O’Hara—the mother and father of my literary interests at the time. Nin was a gateway for me into feminist writing and into thinking about creativity and the self. My love for O’Hara, on the other hand, was ecstatic. I was infatuated—and still am—with the conversational tone of his poetry, the ease with which he moves from Russian novels to bad movies, Robert Frost to Busby Berkeley, Bayreuth to Hackensack; his poems are like letters to a friend, and when I read them, I am that friend.

As collections go, none brings this quality to the fore more than the thirty-seven Lunch Poems, published in 1964 by City Lights. It is number nineteen in their Pocket Poets Series, an apt category for poems that O’Hara wrote during hour-long lunch breaks from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he was a curator. He roved through midtown, recording the “noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon” as well as his “misunderstandings of the eternal questions of life, co-existence and depth,” as O’Hara himself described the volume—“while never forgetting to eat Lunch his favorite meal.” Read More »

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San Francisco vs. New York, and Other News

November 8, 2012 | by

  • The bestseller lists from two beloved bookstores show what San Franciscans and New Yorkers, respectively, are reading. (Spoiler: everyone loves Junot Díaz.)
  • But which book about Lincoln? Experts help you narrow it down.
  • Print is dead, and nine other conversations the folks at Book Riot would just as soon, in a perfect world, never have again.
  • Tats inspired by children’s books. Yes, The Giving Tree and Le Petit Prince are represented, but so are Ramona and Harriet Welsh! And you have to love the simplicity of this Narnia ink.
  • The New York Public Library donated the food that would have been served at their annual fundraising gala to people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
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