Jenny Hendrix

IN SEPTEMBER 1966, a reading took place at New York University’s Loeb Center, near Washington Square. Less than two months had passed since Frank O’Hara’s death on Fire Island, and the event took on the flavor of a memorial for the recently departed poet. In his memoir, the poet’s longtime roommate Joe LeSueur recalled listening in shock as Kenneth Koch read a remarkable poem of O’Hara’s, which, until that moment, it seemed no one had ever heard. “We were not only moved by the poem,” LeSueur wrote, “but mystified as well.

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Checkmate

There are two ways to react to the discomfort The Lifespan of a Fact provokes: to insist that essays like John D'Agata's require a readership in on th

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