Nonfiction. Poetry History & Criticism. This volume collects critical essays on the generation of New York School poets who emerged in the 1950s. Two of these poets, Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery, have been the focus of widespread critical discussion. Essays on Ashbery by Thomas Lisk, Albert Cook, and James McCorkle open up new perspectives on the work of this widely admired poet; and essays on O'Hara by Andrew Epstein, Benjamin Friedlander, Susan Rosenbaum, and Stephen Paul Miller place this poet's work in a series of new and revealing contexts, including racial relations, popular culture, and the Cold War cultural environment. The other three poets here discussed—Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Barbara Guest—have received relatively little critical attention to date. The essays by Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Lynn Keller, Linda Kinnahan, and Sara Lundquist establish Barbara Guest as a central figure in post-war American poetry, engaged in a vigorous interrogation of linguistic systems and the structures of human relationships that they encode. Essays by David Chinitz, Theodore Pelton, and David Spurr show how the wildly inventive poet Kenneth Koch opens a range of new poetic possibilities. Essays by Paul Bauschatz and Robert Thompson on James Schuyler invite a new appreciation of this deeply civilized and warmly humane poet's work. Terence Diggory contributes a synoptic introductory essay on "Community 'Intimate' or 'Inoperative': New York School Poets and Politics from Paul Goodman to Jean-Luc Nancy," and Charles Altieri's overview theoretic essay, "Contingency as Compositional Principle in 'Fifties Poetics," rounds out the book.