Biography Frank O'Hara

Frank O'Hara

photo of Frank O'Hara
  • Time Period1926 - 1966
  • PlaceBaltimore
  • CountryUnited States

Poet Biography

Frank O'Hara was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1926 and grew up in Massachusetts. He served in the Navy and later studied at Harvard and the University of Michigan, then moved to New York. He was on staff at that Museum of Modern Art from 1952 until his death in 1966(he was run over by a dune buggy on Fire Island). He was very active in the art scene, most notably with the abstract expressionist painters. He also worked as a playwright and critc and soon became the epicenter of a circle of poets known as the New York School.

O'Hara believed that poetry should be a spur of the moment, personal spontaneity where abstract was ruled out in favor of the artist's personal style or voice. Because of this belief, many of his poems were composed in spare moments. Many were left around his apartment or sent in letters to friends. During his life he published six volumes of poetry.