Kenneth Koch

Finalist, 2000 National Book Awards
Finalist, National Book Awards 1963

Kenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement “the New York School of Poetry” along with Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the “new” avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the attempt to create a fresh genre free from cliché.
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New Addresses: Poems

New Addresses: Poems, by Kenneth Koch book cover
ISBN 9780375410277 Knopf

Koch, in this new book, talks to things important in his life -- to Breath, to World War Two, to Orgasms, to the French Language, to Jewishness, to Psychoanalysis, to Sleep, to his Heart, to Friendship, to High Spirits, to his Twenties, to the Unknown. More about this book >

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Kenneth Koch

Kenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement “the New York School of Poetry” along with Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the “new” avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the attempt to create a fresh genre free from cliché. In his anthology The New York Poets, Mark Ford writes, “In their reaction against the serious, ironic, ostentatiously well-made lyric that dominated the post-war poetry scene, they turned to the work of an eclectic range of literary iconoclasts, eccentrics and experimenters.”

Fiercely anti-academic and anti-establishment, Koch’s attitude and aesthetic were dubbed by John Ashbery his “missionary zeal.” Ford calls him “the New York School poet most ready to engage in polemic with the poetic establishment, and the one most determined to promote the work of himself and his friends to a wider audience.” Koch died of leukemia at age 77, leaving a legacy of numerous anthologies of both short and long poems, avant-garde plays and short stories, in addition to nonfiction works dealing with aesthetics and teaching poetry to children and senior citizens.

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