Written when many critics still considered her subject more of an "art world" figure rather than a serious poet, Perloff's brilliantly organized study has been reissued with a new introduction. O'Hara's brief but prolific career distinguished him as a "master of peripheral vision . . . [who] devised linguistic structures that anticipate the work of our own moment." Blending biographical and critical resources, Perloff discusses O'Hara's friendships with poets as diverse as Ashbery and Ginsberg, his mixed-media collaborations with several New York artists, and his surprising range of influences. These essays persuade us that his fascination with surrealist poetics, action painting, and the cinema enhanced and deepened his poems, both stylistically and thematically. Literary criticism is rarely this lucid and warm. We are fortunate to have Perloff's book in print: not only was it the first to articulate O'Hara's important and complex role in American poetry, but its witty political and poetic observations retain their original power. Copyright © 1996, Boston Review. All rights reserved.
-- From The Boston Review