Frank Lima

Born in Spanish Harlem in 1939, Frank Lima endured a difficult and violent childhood, discovering poetry as an inmate of the juvenile drug treatment center on North Brother Island in the East River, under the tutelage of the painter, Sherman Drexler. Through Drexler, Lima met Kenneth Koch, Frank O'Hara, and other members of the New York School of poets, leading to his first book, Inventory (Tibor de Nagy Editions, 1964). After publishing two further volumes, Underground with the Oriole (Dutton, 1971) and Angel: New Poems (Liveright, 1976), and earning an MFA at Columbia University in 1976, Lima withdrew from the poetry world, pursuing a successful career as a professional chef. A new and selected poems, also called Inventory (Hard Press), edited by David Shapiro, appeared in 1997. He continued to write a poem a day, but seldom published, for the rest of his life. He died in 2013.

Skip to content