Jennifer Lawrence and Frank O’Hara: From Hunger Games to Lunch Poems

I’m always on the lookout for surprising Frank O’Hara sightings, but I definitely didn’t see this one coming.  The Daily Mail is reporting today that when the movie star Jennifer Lawrence was spotted in New York on Sunday on a date with her boyfriend, art dealer Cooke Maroney, the “action star was carrying a copy of Frank O’Hara’s 2001 poetry book, Lunch Poems.”  (The book was actually published in 1964, not 2001, but who’s counting?).

Here’s the picture that was snapped, presumably, by some annoying paparazzi:

Carrying Lunch Poems: Last week, the Red Sparrow action star and the NYU grad celebrated her 28th birthday with a romantic European vacation to Paris and Rome

Is it just me or does the book Lawrence is holding look much thicker than the usual copies of Lunch Poems — a slender volume which is, after all, part of City Lights’s famous “Pocket Poets Series”?  Strange… * (see below for an important update).

In any event, it’s great, though not surprising, to learn that Lawrence has such good taste in literature.

Also, I can only imagine how happy it would make Frank O’Hara — the ardent lover of the movies, the author of poems that pay tribute to Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean — to learn that one of the biggest movie stars of our age was spotted on the street carrying a book of his own poems.

It’s not to hard to imagine J. Law fitting right in with these lines from O’Hara’s “Steps“:

where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers

*UPDATE: After I posted this piece, and wondered on Twitter why the book looked so much thicker, Carl Robert Anderson informed me that it is probably not a book at all, but rather a $1500 Olympia Le-Tan “Lunch Poems” purse or clutch (sold through Marc Jacobs), which you can find out more about, or purchase (?), here.

Lunchpoemsletan - View 1

Oh well … but somehow I imagine O’Hara would love this nonetheless…




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8 Responses to Jennifer Lawrence and Frank O’Hara: From Hunger Games to Lunch Poems

  1. David M. Katz says:

    She’s quite an artist. It’s no surprise that the brilliant young star of “Winter’s Bone” is now carrying one of the best books of 20th Century poetry.

  2. Bill Zavatsky says:

    Ms. Lawrence is carrying the hardcover edition, “The Expanded 50th Anniversary Edition” of Lunch Poems brought out by City Lights Books in 2014, which adds correspondence between Ferlinghetti and O’Hara about the publication, and hence bulks up the book. It’s a lovely edition.

    • Thanks, Bill. Although the wonderful 2014 reissue is thicker, it’s not as thick or big as the book she’s carrying. It turns out it’s actually a very expensive designer clutch or purse.
      See the update in the post above for more.

  3. Bill Zavatsky says:

    I think you’re right, Andrew. Time for my annual eye exam! Thanks for all the great NYS information that you keep sending our way.

  4. Valerie says:

    It’s pleasant to imagine O’Hara’s posthumous amusement.

  5. Pingback: Falling in Love with Frank O’Hara (via Instagram) | Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

  6. Pingback: Frank O’Hara and Fashion (at the Wedding of Eugenia Kim and Christopher Lee) | Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets

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