This Saturday, February 27, would have been the 91st birthday of New York School poet Kenneth Koch. In remembrance of Koch as a poet, educator, and vital community-builder in the literary world, we take a look at a 1969 letter from the archive in which Koch talks education and his suggested reading list for junior or senior high school English classes, including works by Ginsberg, Thomas, Whitman, Yeats, and more. While his list is challenging, Koch’s confidence in youth response to poetry is clear, as he says in his letter, “I’ve noticed that children are often more responsive to and intelligent about ‘difficult’ poetry and poetry that ‘doesn’t make sense’ than adults are.”

read koch’s letter

read more about koch