The Art of Poetry

Kenneth Koch
Essays, interviews, parodies and cartoons by a distinguished poet and teacher


A charter member of the legendary New York School of poets that includes John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and James Schuyler, Kenneth Koch has become one of America's best known and best loved poets. His apt parodies and zany poetic conceits have earned him the distinction of being the funniest poet in America, and his extravagant imagination and knack for high hilarity have pleased generations of readers.

Here, in The Art of Poetry, Koch offers amusing and thought-provoking essays on the nature of the poetic moment, from its heartfelt emergence in an elementary school classroom to its raucous display in a set of satirical cartoons drawn by the author. Also included are interviews with Allen Ginsberg and Jordan Davis in which Koch discusses a range of diverse topics, including literary criticism, French poetry, and Santa Claus. The Art of Poetry provides Koch's audience with not only the musings and mischievous thoughts of the poetic mind, but also the reflections of the most respected poetry teacher in America.

Kenneth Koch's other books include On the Great Atlantic Rainway: Selected Poems 1950-1988; Seasons on Earth, Days and Nights, The Art of Love, One Thousand Avant-Garde Plays, and One Train, for which he won the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. He is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

Praise / Awards

  • "The genius of this book is that it not only makes us think about the art of poetry, it makes reading and writing poetry seem as attractive and rewarding as they really are."
    Teachers & Writers

Product Details

  • 5-3/8 x 8.
  • 224pp.
  • 6 drawings, 6 photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06605-6

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  • $24.95 U.S.