Poetry News

Locus Solus Remembers the Day Frank O'Hara Died

By Harriet Staff


We're always saddened to remember that day in July when Frank O'Hara died, which Andrew Epstein at Locus Solus reminds us was 48 years ago today. Epstein writes:

48 years ago today, Frank O’Hara died in a tragic accident on Fire Island, New York. Last year at this time, I wrote a post about the wealth of fine elegies for O’Hara that appeared following his death, by poets like Allen Ginsberg, James Schuyler, David Shapiro, Ron Padgett, and others.

Today, I thought I’d put up a copy of the obituary that ran in the New York Times on July 26, 1966, a document that is not so readily available. As I always point out to my students, the headline tells you quite a bit about O’Hara’s reputation at the time of his death: “Frank O’Hara, 40, Museum Curator,” with the subheadline “Exhibitions Aide at Modern Art Dies – Also a Poet.”

“Also a poet” indeed. Although it may be hard to believe now, at the time of his sudden death, O’Hara was better known as an art-world figure than a poet...

Head over to read the obituaries Epstein has kindly posted. And go here to read James Schuyler's elegy for the Poet.