Saturday, September 29, 2012

"The Last Avant-Garde" by David Lehman

I think one of the great gifts that America has produced are the poets associated with the so-called New York School.   Not really an official organization with a membership card, but they were friends who were closely connected to the abstract Expressionists as well as the merging of early pop painting.  With nice touches on the artist Larry Rivers.

Frank O'Hara, James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch, and John Ashbery are the heroes here, and this book by  David Lehman is a combination of group bio and lit critique on these unique writers at the right time and place.  If this book doesn't make you pick up a volume or two on these poets ... well, nothing will.  A great snapshot of life in the late 50's to mid-60's - and beautifully thought out and written by Lehman.  Essential history on poetry and art that still rocks.

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