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As seen on Mad Men...

Ohara_1 Last night I was watching the Mad Men season premiere with rapt attention (along with several other million folks, no doubt) and was surprised to see a volume of poetry, of all things, find its way into Don Draper's hands. First I thought, "Wow. Frank O'Hara. Where is this going..." Followed quickly by: "I bet it's on Movers & Shakers tomorrow." And lo and behold, there it is, Meditations in an Emergency, currently at  #233 (up 6,436%!). We usually see this kind of bump when authors receive national media attention (see also: Stephen Colbert), but in recent years we've also seen interest spike when books make even a cameo appearance in popular TV shows. (Remember The Sopranos and The Art of War?)

Ohara_2 I'm curious to see if the O'Hara will hold rank over the next few days as other viewers catch up with the first episode of the season. Really though, what an interesting choice. There are few writers more evocative of New York in the post-war, early-Beat era than Frank O'Hara, who the New York Times profiled just a few weeks ago on the subject of his Selected Poems, released earlier this year. (The opening line of the review, that "death is often a good career move in poetry," seems--as grim it as it sounds--ever more the case now.) O'Hara's New York isn't quite Don Draper's, not yet anyway, but for those of you haven't yet seen O'Hara's quasi-appearance on Mad Men, trust me when I say it's pretty powerful... or, take the word of this Amazon reviewer: "Never heard of it, but saw it on Mad Men last night.  So now I have to get it." --Anne


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