50th Anniversary All-Star Reading of Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems in San Francisco

Just when you thought the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems had died down, here comes another terrific sounding event that will again celebrate City Lights Books’ new edition of O’Hara’s 1964 volume.

The evening is billed as a “50th Anniversary All-Star Reading,” and it will be held on Friday, February 6th, in San Francisco.  It will feature this amazing cast of readers:

• Kathleen Fraser, “Music”
• Crystal Sasaki & Alana Siegel, “Alma”
• Kit Robinson, “On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday”
• Clark Coolidge, “Poem (I watched an armory combing its bronze bricks)”
• Laura Moriarty, “On the Way to the San Remo”
• Paul Hoover, “2 Poems from the Ohara Monogatari”
• Hilton Obenzinger, “A Step Away from Them”
• Richard O. Moore, “Cambridge”
• Elaine Katzenberger, “Poem (Instant coffee with slightly sour cream)”
• Elaine Kahn, “Three Airs”
• Garrett Caples, “Image of the Buddha Preaching”
• Alan Bernheimer, “Song (Is it dirty)”
• David Meltzer, “The Day Lady Died”
• Patrick Marks, “Poem (Wouldn’t it be funny)”
• Brent Cunningham, “Poem (Krushchev is coming on the right day!)”
• Mac McGinnes, “Naptha”
• George Albon, “Personal Poem”
• Norma Cole, “Adieu to Norman, Bon Jour to Joan and Jean-Paul”
• Bill Berkson, “Rhapsody”
• Donald Guravich, “Hôtel Particulier”
• Alli Warren, “Cornkind”
• Beverly Dahlen, “How to Get There”
• Ted Reese, “A Little Travel Diary”
• Joanne Kyger, “Five Poems”
• Michael Palmer, “Ave Maria”
• Jim Nisbet, “Pistachio Tree at Château Noir”
• Evan Kennedy, “At Kamin’s Dance Bookshop”
• C.S. Giscombe, “Steps”
• Cedar Sigo, “Mary Desti’s Ass”
• Dodie Bellamy, “St. Paul and All That”
• Duncan McNaughton, “Memoir of Sergei O….”
• Matt Gonzalez, “Yesterday Down at the Canal”
• Brandon Brown, “Poem en Forme de Saw”
• Micah Ballard, Sunnylyn Thibodeaux, Jason Morris, “For the Chinese New Year & for Bill Berkson”
• Michael McClure, “Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)”
• Ronaldo Wilson, “Galanta”
• Tinker Greene, “Fantasy”

The announcement also includes a statement by O’Hara’s sister, Maureen O’Hara:

“I hope that everyone will delight in the new edition of Frank’s LUNCH POEMS. The correspondence between Lawrence and Frank is great. Frank was just 33 when he wrote to Lawrence in 1959 and 38 when LUNCH POEMS was published! The fact that City Lights kept Frank’s LUNCH POEMS in print all these years has been extraordinary, wonderful and a constant comfort. Hurray for independent publishers and independent bookstores. Many thanks always to Lawrence Ferlinghetti and everyone at City Lights.”

If you’re anywhere near San Francisco, and if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to hear Michael Palmer read O’Hara’s “Ave Maria,” or Michael McLure read “Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!),” or Dodie Bellamy read “St. Paul and All That,” then this is the event for you.

Here are the specifics:

Friday FEB 6 @ McRoskey Mattress Co.
1687 Market Street (at Gough), San Francisco, 7 pm (doors open at 6:30), $10 ($5 low income; free to SFSU students & Poetry Center members)

hosted by McRoskey Mattress Co., cosponsored by The Poetry Center, The Green Arcade, and City Lights Books

For more information, see:



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