Frank O’Hara

Other People’s Poetry (OPP) Presents
The Poetry of Frank O’Hara
Lunch Poems (1964)

Sunday, May 21 2017
Deep Vellum Books
3000 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75226

About Frank O’Hara and Lunch Poems | Poems & Readers | About the Readers | About OPP

Frank O’Hara (1926 – 1966)

Frank O’Hara’s influence on contemporary American poetry is so pervasive as to be almost invisible. The whole idea of a conversational, pop culture-obsessed poem, delivered with a diaristic disregard for the ceremonious, arguably originates with O’Hara. Michael Mattix, writing for The Atlantic in 2014, sums up the enduring, perhaps even prescient, qualities of his aesthetic: “Lunch Poems — like Facebook posts or tweets — shares, saves, and re-creates the poet’s experience of the world. He addresses others in order to combat a sense of loneliness, sharing his gossipy, sometimes snarky take on modern life, his unfiltered enthusiasm, and his boredom.” Less celebrated, however, are the interdisciplinary aspects of O’Hara’s artistic output. He was a sharp observer of the New York art scene of his era and a close associate of painters Larry Rivers, Joan Mitchell and Franz Kline. Despite having no formal training, O’Hara worked his way up from staffing the Museum of Modern Art’s information desk to curating several of that institution’s most important exhibits. A voracious reader, O’Hara was happily greedy when it came to influences. Music, dance, cinema, the burgeoning queer culture of the 1960s: seemingly nothing escapes this poet’s bustling attention, or his language. Reading O’Hara, one gets the impression that, for him, poetry was equally play and discipline, and that the medium gave him permission to perform an urbanity, wit, curiosity, sensitivity and humanity that might otherwise have remained shadowed in doubt. Yet his subsequent canonization has somewhat obscured just how often these performances were private, and just how much O’Hara’s prolificacy was tied to his status as a literary outsider. As scholars George F. Butterick and Robert J. Bertholf note: “[h]e did not cultivate academic alliances or solicit editors and publishers.” Rather, until a senseless automobile accident silenced him at the age of 40, O’Hara lived as he wrote and wrote as he lived.

Poems & Readers

Lunch Poems
Music (Richard Bailey)
Alma (Sean Enfield)
On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday (Alan Gann)
Poem (Serena Howe)
On the Way to the San Remo (Patrick Peterson-Carroll)
2 Poems from the Ohara Monogatari (Walker Smart)
A Step Away from Them (Craig Nydick)
Cambridge (Imana Cordova)
Poem (Misty Amber Moore)
Three Airs (Tom Farris)
Image of the Buddha Preaching (Dan Collins)
Song (Brenda Randall)
The Day Lady Died (Caitlin Pryor)
Poem (David Eric Tomlinson)
Poem (Dan Collins)
Naphtha (Misty Amber Moore)
Personal Poem (David Eric Tomlinson)
Adieu to Norman, Bon Jour to Joan and Jean-Paul (Johnny Olson)
Rhapsody (Mike Soto)
Hôtel particulier (Richard Bailey)
Cornkind (Courtney Marie)
How To Get There (Lauren Felice Ayres Jarocki)
A Little Travel Diary (Brenda Randall)
Five Poems (Joel Page)
Ave Maria (Sean Enfield)
Pistachio Tree at Chateau Noir (Imana Cordova)
At Kamin’s Dance Bookshop (Craig Nydick)
Steps (Caitlin Pryor)
Mary Desti’s Ass (Gabe Mamola)
St. Paul and All That (Joel Page)
Memoir of Sergei O (Lauren Felice Ayres Jarocki)
Yesterday Down at the Canal (Mike Soto)
Poem en forme de saw (Walker Smart)
For the Chinese New Year & For Bill Berkson (Courtney Marie)
Poem (Alan Gann)
Galanta (Serena Howe)
Fantasy (Gabe Mamola)

Bonus Tracks
To the Film Industry in Crisis (Patrick Peterson-Carroll)
On Seeing Larry Rivers’ “Washington Crossing the Delaware” at the Museum of Modern Art (Gabe Mamola)
Like (Misty Amber Moore)
Why I Am Not a Painter (Dan Collins)
Poem (Brenda Randall)
Having a Coke With You (Sean Enfield)
Drifts of a Thing That Bill Berkson Noticed (Walker Smart)
On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday #158 (Patrick Peterson-Carroll)
On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday #161 (Richard Bailey)
Political Poem on a Last Line of Pasternak’s (Mike Soto)
Poem (Tom Farris)
Personism: A Manifesto (David Eric Tomlinson)
As Planned (Johnny Olson)
A Hill (Imana Cordova)
Grand Central (Serena Howe)
Seven Nine Seven (Caitlin Pryor)
Lines for the Fortune Cookies (Alan Gann)
Metaphysical Poem (Joel Page)
You at the Pump (Lauren Felice Ayres Jarocki)
Poem (Courtney Marie)
At Joan’s (Johnny Olson)
A Rant (Craig Nydick)
A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island (Tom Farris)

About the Readers

Richard Bailey’s poems have appeared in several journals, including The Madison Review, Mudfish, Quiddity, and Whiskey Island Magazine. Four of his films were selected for the 2017 AVIFF Cannes Catalogue, and others have shown at Alchemy Moving Image, Anthology Film Archives, Berlin Experimental, Black Maria, Blow-Up, Dallas VideoFest, Proyector International, SENE, SXSW, and many other festivals. He also has a film featured in Vol. 36 of the Journal of Short Film, a peer-reviewed journal in DVD form. Find out more at

Dan Collins is an artist and poet active in the creative community of Dallas, Texas. His work has been published in the Blue Mesa Review, Naugatuck River Review, Entropy and the online journal [out of nothing]. He is a “brain trust” member of Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase.

Imana Cordova, native New Englander, developed a passion for poetry in childhood. Since 1999, she has shared this passion with young writers in Dallas schools. Another deep love, nature, is often reflected in her poetry and she tries as Ferlinghetti recommends — “to sow” her “poetry with the salt of the earth.”

Sean Enfield is a poet and fiction writer based out of Denton, TX. In May 2015, he graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in English — Literature. He has had work appear on NPR’s All Things Considered and in Poetry Quarterly, Vine Leaves, and F(r)iction.

Tom Farris daydreams, mostly. He currently spends his time getting out of Irving, TX, to read weird shit at open mikes in the DFW area (especially Deep Vellum). His hobbies include sarcasm, people watching, self-doubt, organ practice between midnight and three in the morning, and saying strange and clumsy things on Facebook.

Alan Gann facilitates writing workshops for underserved youth at Texans Can Academy and wrote DaVerse Works, Big Thought’s performance poetry curriculum. A multiple Pushcart and Best-of-the-Net nominee, Alan has published one book of poetry, Adventures of the Clumsy Juggler. His nonexistent spare time is spent outdoors: biking, birding, and photographing dragonflies.

Serena Howe is a middle and high school teacher who grinds algebra, Latin, and literature into students five days a week. Sometimes they like it. She has lived in Dallas for five years, and before that spent time in Virginia and Michigan, though she grew up in the vasty hinterlands of mountainous Northern California. She misses snow, and autumn leaves, and bright stars.

Gabe Mamola is a local poet and an English PhD student at the University of Texas at Arlington. You may be able to find him performing with the Bonehouse poetry group or Common Company. Otherwise, he is either off on a vision quest or grading papers somewhere.

courtney marie is a writer and artist based in Denton, Texas. she enjoys working with text as an art medium and performance object. she is the co-founder and primary organizer of the art collective Spiderweb Salon, co-host of Pegasus Reading Series in Dallas, and the host of Spiderweb Salon’s literary podcast, produced by Pariah. as a recent finalist for the Lorien Prize, courtney marie has a joint chapbook forthcoming through Thoughtcrime Press with Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi. she lives with two cats and writes a lot of letters.

Joe Milazzo is the founder and artistic director of Other People’s Poetry (OPP). He is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie and two volumes of poetry: The Habiliments, and the forthcoming Of All Places In This Place Of All Places. You can learn more about his activities — literary as well as extra-literary — by visiting

Misty Amber Moore of Misty Amber Art is a published spoken word and slam poet also specializes in the creation of upcycled (the reuse of discarded items) works of art. This includes, but is not limited to, multimedia art pieces, haute couture clothing, and award-winning accessories. Promoting probiotics and DIY methods, Misty empowers those around her by teaching workshops and selling her homebrewed kombucha, ferments, and baked goods. Misty also makes hand dipped incense, postcards and bath-bombs among other unique works.

Craig Nydick is a poet and recent Dallasite by way of Atlanta. Craig’s most cherished possessions are several paperback copies of J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories, a decades-old black PaperMate PhD mechanical pencil, and a pair of navy blue leather high tops. For security purposes, he keeps them in separate locations.

Johnny Olson comes from Chicago, where he found his feet & cut his teeth in the blue-collared neighborhoods. In 1988 he was reborn in California, finding himself a new title: United States Marine. After surviving a brief yet violent war, he traded his rifle for a pen & kindled his passion for writing. In 1998 found his way to Dallas & soon after started Mad Swirl, where he acts as chief editor.

Joel Page writes briefs for federal prisoners who can’t afford a lawyer. He writes fiction which is occasionally published, and poetry that is never published.

Patrick Peterson-Carroll is a British-born American writer and artist. Though more known locally as a freelance arts and music writer, in 2014, his first short story collection, “I Dig Symmetry and Six Other Stories” was published by Thought Catalog. In 2015, he became the web editor for the now-defunct THRWD Magazine and has since written for Arts + Culture Texas, The Wild Detectives, and Artist Uprising. In 2016, he co-hosted “What is Cinema?” with Lee Escobedo, the first podcast funded by a grant from the City of Dallas. He has performed readings at Beefhaus, Mighty Fine Arts, The Wild Detectives, Nasher Sculpture Center (part of the “Chalet” event), and much more.

Caitlin Pryor’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Entropy, Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. She holds degrees from The University of Michigan, The New School, and The University of North Texas, where she is currently a lecturer in the Department of English. She writes for the Dallas Observer, American Microreviews and Interviews, and other outlets. She lives in Denton, TX.

Brenda Randall is an author, director, event coordinator, host, poet, producer and visionary. She is the host/coordinator of Poetry Smash at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and Host/Coordinator of Verse & Rhythm at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. She is entering her 10th year as host, producer, and coordinator of “In The Words of A Sistah,” the longest running all female cast poetry show of its kind. She has performed at the Department of Education Civil Rights Division, Liz Mikel’s Rhythm & Rhyme, and Stolen Birthdays (in support of mothers against police brutality). She is also the creator of the touring show “Poetry Is My Praise.” In 2014, she was commissioned by the Multicultural Alumni Association of Texas A&M—Commerce to pen a piece commemorating the 50th Anniversary of school desegregation. She currently serves on the board of directors for WordSpace.

Walker Smart is the onstage alter ego of Walker Smart. He’s twice as weird and loves the sound of his own voice even more than the real Walker Smart. The real Walker Smart has lived in Denton, TX his whole life. You’ve probably seen him around.

Mike Soto was raised in East Dallas and Michoacán, Mexico. He has poems forthcoming in New Delta Review, Interrupture, Iowa Review, Huizache, and Poetry Northwest.

David Eric Tomlinson was born and raised in Oklahoma, educated in California, and now lives in Texas. His novel The Midnight Man was released in January by Gallery Books.

About OPP

Other People’s Poetry (OPP) is a new repertory poetry reading series. One poet, one book of great poetry per event.

OPP’s mission: To develop an audience for poetry. To provide opportunities for audiences to interact with poetry that has otherwise fallen out of the oral tradition (because the originating poets are no longer alive to present the work themselves). To broaden notions of canon. To recognize the important work done by our poetic predecessors. To increase the diversity of literary programming in DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth), in part, by creating more opportunities for DFW’s discrete poetic communities to intersect and collaborate.


Special thanks to Will Evans, Anne Hollander, Rebecca Thompson, Tanya Wardell, Deep Vellum Books & WordSpace for sponsoring this event.