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ISBN: 978-1-937627-18-8

After Lunch with Frank O'Hara


poems by Craig Cotter

Inspired by poet Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems, Craig Cotter’s fourth collection of poetry, After Lunch with Frank O’Hara, assembles 51 poems, each as out, unapologetic, and inventive as those of the late poet’s. This collection also features an introduction by author Felice Picano, who knew O’Hara when both writers lived in Greenwich Village, and an afterword by Cotter about his quest to learn more about O’Hara’s life and art.



Official Publication Date: September 4, 2014.



About the author


Craig Cotter was born in 1960 in New York and has lived in California since 1986. He is the author of three collections of poetry, including Chopstix Numbers. After Lunch with Frank OHara was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Poems from After Lunch with Frank O’Hara have appeared in Global Tapestry Review, poems-for-all, Poetry New Zealand, Assaracus, Court Green, Eleven Eleven, Euphony, The Antigonish Review and Caliban Online. Fifteen of his poems were nominated for Pushcart Prizes from 2009 to 2013. He is online at




Praise for After Lunch with Frank O'Hara

The same accessible, conversational, gay-as-a-box-of-birds approach that O'Hara championed, though Cotter's poetry is not at all an imitation or a parody of O'Hara's style.”

Roberto Friedman, Bay Area Reporter


The poems are sexy and unapologetic as they should be…you absolutely do not want to miss this wonderful volume of very clever poetry.

Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen

Contrary to expectations, After Lunch with Frank O’Hara is more like a Monty Python send-up than a nostalgic paean. Craig Cotter has come through his emersion in and admiration of the famous poet to create an original and gleeful collection of poems that disarm, challenge, and amuse. Duende, a gesture in art, such as a mistake or failing deliberately allowed to show when passion breaks through the perfect (and artificial) façade, is usually associated with more romantic arts, such as Flamenco or lyric poetry, but Cotter uses it consistently, sometimes humorously, sometimes shockingly, to indicate his assumption of O’Hara’s flawless craft, and to break with it in order to claim his own very different Craig Cotter voice. In so doing Cotter is defiantly, passionately, and of course a little sadly, leaving Frank O’Hara. His “lunch” with O’Hara was a meal of using one’s friends and daily life as a grid for learning aesthetics. The desert was a very rich confection made of gay love. Having taken this sustenance from O’Hara, Craig Cotter is one well-nourished poet. Read this book like coffee and conversation that follows a great meal.
—Diane Wakoski, author of Bay of Angels and The Diamond Dog

i’m just an old straight prof emeritus & sometimes Craig Cotter’s poetry gives me the creeps & sometimes its vulgarity qualms me & sometimes its translucence is a stained glass window i don’t want to look through / a revolving lucite door i don’t want to spin through, but man it’s riveting as it forges itself it’s written in gists & piths as he speaks with straight Creeley & queen O’Hara & others as the subversive who can’t never get enough he wants “submissive twink” & tells us he “jacked off 6 times yesterday” to composites of guys & tells us in a fantasy idyll that Marlon Brando told him “u could not be an artist / if all you cared for was convention and laws”, & how much cum & how many blowjobs & dicks are too many as Cotter challenges us not to run the fuck away from his obsessions & to know his big-hearted Whitmanian embracements & adhesions his camerado tendernesses too so look & hear all sorts of ravelings & unravelings of Beauty here in this prodigious poet of crafted outpourings & i want i need always to be erect & wear his poems to new graduations because my doctoral hoods & gowns thanks to him gaily shred
—William Heyen, author of Shoah Train: Poems (National Book Award Finalist) & Straight’s Suite for Craig Cotter & Frank O’Hara


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