Frank O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You,” Illustrated by Nathan Gelgud

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

When Random House’s Biographile blog asked the illustrator Nathan Gelgud to contribute something for National Poetry Month, he said “I immediately knew what poet I’d want to cover. Frank O’Hara’s 1964 book, Lunch Poemscould not have had a bigger impact on me than when I picked it up fifteen years ago. Like lots of young men my age, I was in the Poetry section because I was interested in the Beats. Lunch Poems practically jumped off the shelf at me: It was familiar as one of the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, with its immediately recognizable cover design made so popular by Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. But it was also different, bright orange and blue, unlike the more familiar black-and-white covers I knew.”

Gelgud chose to illustrate O’Hara’s much-beloved poem “Having a Coke with You,” his favorite O’Hara poem.  It “seemed like the clear choice for an illustrated piece,” Gelgud…

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