Frank O'Hara 1926-1966 Poet Frank O'Hara was born in Baltimore, MD and raised in Massachusetts. He served in the Navy and then studied at Harvard and the University of Michigan. From 1952 to 1966, O'Hara was on the staff at the Museum of Modern Art. He was a critic and a playwright and stayed active in the art scene. O'Hara published six books of poetry from 1952 until his death. Frank O'Hara died in 1966 when he was run down by a dune buggy on Fire Island.
John Ashbery was born on July 28, 1927 in Rochester, New York. He was educated at Harvard and Columbia universities and studied in Europe on a Fulbright Scholarship. Initially wishing to be a painter, then a musician, he has had a variety of careers including reference librarian and art critic. In the early 1950s, he was a copywriter with Oxford University Press and McGraw-Hill. His collection of poems, Turandot and other Poems, published in 1953, established his reputation as one of the leading American poets of his generation. Ashbery feels strongly influenced by film and other art forms. The abstract expressionist movement in art had a profound effect on his writing style. Frequently termed a philosophical poet, Ashbery's poems often deal with the mind and the connection of the reader. Ashbery has published several volumes of poetry, including Houseboat Days and Flow Chart. Highly regarded by critics, he received a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976, all for Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. He received the Ambassador Book Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. In 2011, he won the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He also writes under the pseudonym Jonas Berry.