Excerpted from On the Edge by Kenneth Koch. Copyright © 2007 by Kenneth Koch. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Kenneth Koch published many volumes of poetry, now gathered in The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch and On the Edge. His plays are collected in The Gold Standard: A Book of Plays and One Thousand Avant-Garde Plays, and his fiction was brought together in Collected Fiction. He also wrote several books about poetry, including Wishes, Lies, and Dreams; Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?; and Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry. Koch was the winner of the Bollingen Prize (1995) and the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (1996), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (1995) and the National Book Award (2000), and winner of the first annual Phi Beta Kappa Poetry Award (2001). He was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1999. Kenneth Koch lived in New York City, where he taught at Columbia University.