Kenneth Koch

1925–2002
Kenneth Koch

Kenneth Koch was born in Cincinnati and attended Columbia and Harvard University, where he met John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara. The three later became key figures in the New York School, which integrated many different influences including Abstract Expressionist painting, French Surrealism, and a dislike of Confessional poetry. Koch, an amazingly prolific poet and recipient of many awards, learned from this school a much more sophisticated and cosmopolitan style, one that is noted for its clarity and humor. In his “Poem for My Twentieth Birthday,” Koch describes the transition from adolescence to adulthood and the expectations of that change.

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates
2016 LA POL Champion