Lunch Poems: Pocket Poets Number 19

Lunch Poems: Pocket Poets Number 19
50th Anniversary Edition
Foreword by John Ashbery





"Review in Entropy Magazine"
Jan 7, 2015

Patrick James Dunagan considers the anniversary edition of Frank O'Hara’s Lunch Poems along with the latest release in the City Lights Spotlight Series, Deep Code by John Coletti.

- Entropy Magazine

"Review in Poetry Magazine"
Jan 5, 2015

O'Hara scholar Majorie Perloff rereads and discusses Lunch Poems 50 years after its first publication.

- Poetry Magazine

Baltimore City Paper
Nov 24, 2014

Baltimore City Paper's Alana Farr considers Lunch Poems on it’s 50th anniversary.


NPR's "All Things Considered"
Nov 24, 2014

Poet Tess Taylor considers Lunch Poems on its 50th anniversary.

- NPR

The Boston Globe

"There's always room for Lunch Poems. Fifty years after their first publication, the poems of Frank O'Hara’s breakthough volume are still in such a hurry. This new printing sports a preface by John Ashbery, an editor’s note by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and reproductions of unpublished letters between Ferlinghetti and O’Hara. The poems are wonderful reminders of the world we keep missing as it rushes by: 'So many things in the air!’"—Michael Brodeur, The Boston Globe


The Bay Area Reporter

"The expanded 50th anniversary edition of Lunch Poems by Frank O'Hara is a glorious tribute to the book, as well as to the genius of the poet himself. Poet John Ashbery wrote the preface, and publisher/poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti writes about the anniversary edition. If you haven't read this essential volume of poetry, including the amazing poem 'Ave Maria,' you don't know what you're missing."—Gregg Shapiro, Bay Area Reporter


"Los Angeles radio station KPCC discusses O'Hara"
Sep 3, 2014

Commentator Marc Haefele writes about arts and culture for KPCC's "Off-Ramp."  Here, he attends a reading of Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems and muses on the connections.

- Marc Haefele, KPCC

"Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems reviewed by The Skinny"
Sep 2, 2014

"It is hard to believe half a century's passed since the publication of Frank O'Hara’s Lunch Poems... because its voice is in almost every way contemporary: worldly, ironic, sceptical, occasionally flip; but also sad, in a way that’s complex and under-the-surface and which maybe has something to do with the loss of transcendent belief."

- Jim Troeltsch, The Skinny

The Washington Blade

"Don't miss out. With your fave libation in hand, celebrate Lunch Poems—the little book that’s still the life of the party."—Kathi Wolfe, The Washington Blade


National Post

"In the 1950s people like me noticed O'Hara because his subjects were often the subjects we would have chosen if we had been poets – jazz, movie stars, abstract expressionist painting, race, the intensity of urban life. Music, art and their attached legends energized his lines. The poems were crafted with care but always seemed spontaneous, as if scrawled in his notebooks during parties, meetings, trips on the subway. They were always personal, city life woven into a rueful version of himself. To like him it was necessary to like irony."––Robert Fulford, National Post


"Feature in The New York Times"
Aug 8, 2014

Dwight Garner writes about the timelessness and brilliance of Frank O'Hara's poetry.
"Frank O'Hara’s Lunch Poems, the little black dress of American poetry books, redolent of cocktails and cigarettes and theater tickets and phonograph records, turns 50 this year. It seems barely to have aged … This is a book worth imbibing again, especially if you live in Manhattan, but really if you’re awake and curious anywhere. O’Hara speaks directly across the decades to our hopes and fears and especially our delights; his lines are as intimate as a telephone call. Few books of his era show less age."

- Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Los Angeles Times

"Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems--which has just been reissued in a 50th anniversary hardcover edition--recalls a world of pop art, political and cultural upheaval and (in its own way) a surprising innocence."––David Ulin, Los Angeles Times


"Poetry Foundation features essay on anniversary publication"
Jul 9, 2014

Callie Siskel offers a thoughtful and engaging assessment of Frank O'Hara’s Lunch Poems on its 50th anniversary.

- Callie Siskel, Poetry Foundation

Times Literary Supplement UK

"Frank O'Hara's delightful conversational volume Lunch Poems was published by City Lights in San Francisco fifty years ago, and has remained in print in its original Pocket Poets format ever since. In an anniversary hardback edition, Lawrence Ferlinghetti writes that the poems 'established a certain tone, a certain turn of phrase, a certain urbane wit, at once gay and straight, that came to identify the New York School of poets in the 1960s.'"—James Campbell, Times Literary Supplement UK


"Feature in The New York Times Book Review"
Jun 29, 2014

Senior staff writer John Williams writes about the 50th anniversary edition is his "Open Books" column
"Lunch Poems Turns 50: Two years ago, the WNYC radio host Leonard Lopate asked his listeners to vote for 10 objects that best told the story of New York. (The Greek coffee cup and the subway token were Numbers 1 and 2, respectively.) The only work of art to make the list was Frank O'Hara's collection Lunch Poems. The San Francisco-based City Lights published a 50th anniversary edition of the book earlier this month. It contains a preface by John Ashbery as well as reproductions of letters between O'Hara and the publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who is now 95."

- John Williams, The New York Times Book Review

"Feature in The Brooklyn Rail"
Jul 2, 2014

"Nearly 50 years since his death, much American lyrical poetry today also seems timid by comparison, suggestive of pious poets in ascetic isolation from a vulgar, fallen world. . . . What is happening to him now is that his influence on both contemporary American poetry and on pop culture is greater than ever. . . . Lunch Poems has just been republished by City Lights Books in an expanded edition that includes a preface by O'Hara's New York compatriot John Ashbery and an appendix filled with facsimiles of correspondence spanning 1963 to 1965 between O'Hara and the book’s publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti."

- Tim Keane, The Brooklyn Rail

"Feature on Largehearted Boy"
Jul 2, 2014

The popular blog features staff picks by Brooklyn's WORD Bookstore, including the 50th anniversary edition of Lunch Poems:  "'My life held precariously in the seeing / hands of others.' Fifty years since its now-iconic orange and blue cover re-entered the bustling, amorous New York City from which they were derived, City Lights has reissued the collection with a new introduction and a supplementary appendix with facsimile drafts, letters, and other wonders."— Staff at WORD Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

- Large Hearted Boy

"Our Man in Boston on Lunch Poems"
Jul 2, 2014

Robert Birnbaum reflects on the City Lights reissue of Lunch Poems.

- Robert Birnbaum, OurMan in Boston

"The enduring significance of Frank O'Hara's poetry is discussed on the BBC"
Jun 26, 2014

"'O'Hara's work has remained consistently popular with readers for six decades and has never been out of print,' says Elaine Katzenberger, editorial director of the book's publisher, City Lights. 'What's captured in the collection is what made Frank O'Hara so appealing as a writer and as a person,' she says. 'O'Hara was a magnetic personality with a keen and discerning eye and an ability to capture the routines of life in plain and often humorous snapshots, and to juxtapose the mundane alongside acutely sensitive observations about much loftier human endeavors.'"

- Jane Ciabattari, BBC

"The Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog discusses the 50th anniversary of Lunch Poems"
Jun 19, 2014

"Naked 'Lunch': Behind the Scenes of Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems . . . It’s the most authoritative edition of Lunch Poems in some 30 years."

- Garret Caples, editor, City Lights

"The New York School of Poets on the evolution of Lunch Poems"
Jun 18, 2014

"Although scholars have discussed and quoted from the correspondence between O'Hara and Ferlinghetti about the publication of Lunch Poems before, this is the first time the letters have been published, so it's a real treat to see them in print."

- Andrew Epstein, Associate Professor, English Dept, Florida State University

"Voix Magazine revisits Lunch Poems"
May 27, 2014

" . . .  a return to Lunch Poems will urge us to hear the musher's compelling call, to feel the leads hitched around our necks, to strive for truly vivacious experiences, to authentically situate ourselves in the world. So I’m excited. It’s lunchtime. I’m hungry."

- Nathaniel Ogle, VOIX Culture editor

The Atlantic

". . . the book has an appeal that reaches beyond the time and place it was written in, as the 50th anniversary edition of the City Lights volume shows. Casual, sardonic, funny, and full of pop-culture references, Lunch Poems has all the brevity, informality, irony, and at times chatty pointlessness of modern discourse without having been influenced by it. The volume has never gone out of print, in part because O'Hara expresses himself in the same way modern Americans do: Like many of us, he tries to overcome the absurdity and loneliness of modern life by addressing an audience of anonymous others."—Micah Mattix, The Atlantic


The Village Voice

"We all know lunch hour isn't actually for eating lunch; it’s for running to the bank, going shopping, or throwing back a few midday business shots. In the case of Frank O’Hara, it was for poetry, and his might have been the best use of those precious 60 minutes in the whole dreary history of the corporate custom."—Heather Baysa, The Village Voice


The Paris Review

"City Lights' new reissue of the slim volume includes a clutch of correspondence between O'Hara and Lawrence Ferlinghetti . . . in which the two poets hash out the details of the book's publication: which poems to consider, their order, the dedication, and even the title. 'Do you still like the title Lunch Poems?' O’Hara asks Ferlinghetti. 'I wonder if it doesn’t sound too much like an echo of Reality Sandwiches or Meat Science Essays.' 'What the hell,' Ferlinghetti replies, 'so we’ll have to change the name of City Lights to Lunch Counter Press.'"—Nicole Rudick, The Paris Review


"An appreciation of Lunch Poems on Wichita's KMUW"
Jun 19, 2014

Sarah Bagby discusses the history of the Pocket Poets Series and Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems.

- Sarah Bagby, KMUW

"Lunch Poems reading at the Poetry Project in The New Yorker"
Jun 10, 2014

"Frank O'Hara's famed collection was first published in 1964, and, to mark the fiftieth anniversary, City Lights is printing a special edition. At the Poetry Project, Justin Vivian Bond, Hettie Jones, Edmund Berrigan, and dozens of other writers will read all of the poems. (St. Mark's Church, In-the-Bowery, Second Ave. at 10th St. poetryproject.org. June 11 at 8)."

- Goings on about Town, The New Yorker

"An Appreciation of O'Hara's Lunch Poems"
May 22, 2014

Micah Mattix discusses the enduring beauty and significance of Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems.

- Micah Mattix, The Atlantic