Frank O’Hara was born in 1926 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Harvard after serving as a sonarman in World War II, initially pursuing a degree in music. While he remained a devoted and talented pianist throughout his life, influences such as Edward Gorey and John Ashbery shifted his focus to English. After receiving his MA in English Literature, he moved to New York City and began writing seriously. His light-hearted poetry was spontaneous, conversational and often paid homage to his dearest New York and beloved friends. O'Hara was a curator at MoMA, and on his lunch breaks, he would write poetry. Many of his poems reference people, from Mayakovsky to Lana Turner. He died in 1966 after being struck by a dune buggy on Fire Island. His friend Larry Rivers delivered his eulogy. The title of Tom Burr's exhibition is taken from a O'Hara's poem Mayakovsky.
Frank O'Hara is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Tom Burr