Ned O'Gorman

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Edward Charles "Ned" O'Gorman (September 26, 1929 – March 7, 2014) was an American poet and educator.

Life[edit]

Born Edward Charles O'Gorman to Annette de Bouthillier-Chavigny and Samuel Franklin Engs O'Gorman in New York City, Ned O'Gorman spent most of his early life in Southport, Connecticut, and Bradford, Vermont. In 1950, he graduated from St. Michael's College in Vermont and later received an M.A. from Columbia University. While at Princeton University in 1957, O'Gorman rented a room in the house of Caroline Gordon Tate. His poetry earned him Guggenheim Fellowships in 1956 and 1962. He won the Lamont Poetry Award in 1958 for his collection of poems, The Night of the Hammer.

O'Gorman was the literary editor of the Catholic magazine Jubilee from 1962 to 1965. He was appointed by the U.S. State Department to be the American studies specialist in Chile, Argentina and Brazil in 1965. In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.[1] He later received the Rothko Chapel Award for Commitment to Truth and Freedom.

In July 1966 O'Gorman arrived in Harlem and worked that summer as a volunteer teacher in a Head Start program. The children's library he started two months later, named after Addie Mae Collins, one of the four children killed in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church, gradually became a tuition-free school known as The Children's Storefront, welcoming all children living in the area. Today, the school thrives with an annual budget of $2.5 million and a waiting list of 800 children.

After losing a dispute over succession at the Storefront, Ned O’Gorman founded the Ricardo O'Gorman Garden and Center for Resources in the Humanities which opened in 1998 with the collaboration of two teachers from the original school. The Center, which O'Gorman continued to direct, is located on West 129th Street in New York City. The tuition-free school ran an annual budget of $300,000 and for many years benefitted from Mr. O'Gorman's fund-raising efforts.

O'Gorman also taught at Brooklyn College, the New School, and Manhattan College. He wrote six books of poetry, five books of prose, and numerous articles and poetry published in various magazines.

O'Gorman's many correspondents included some of the most renowned cultural figures of the mid twentieth century: Peter Levi, Henry Miller, Huston Smith, Susan Sontag, Mark Van Doren, Daniel Berrigan, Louise Bogan, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Eberhart, Paul Goodman, Suzanne Hiltermann, Galway Kinnell, Denise Levertov, Archibald MacLeish, Marianne Moore, Anaïs Nin, Richard Wilbur, Robert Bly, Rafael Squirru, Laura Riding Jackson, Lincoln Kirstein, Kathleen Raine, Robert Penn Warren, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

O'Gorman died of pancreatic cancer at his Manhattan home on March 7, 2014, aged 84.[2]

Books[edit]

Poetry

  • The Night of the Hammer (1958)
  • Adam Before the Mirror (1961)
  • The Harvesters' Vase (1968)
  • The Flag the Hawk Flies (1972)
  • Five Seasons of Obsession: New and Selected Poems (2001)

Non-Fiction

  • Children Are Dying (1978)
  • The Storefront: A Community of Children on 129th Street and Madison Avenue (1970)
  • The Wilderness and the Laurel Tree: A Guide for Teachers and Parents on the Observation of Children (1972)
  • Prophetic Voices: Ideas and Words on Revolution (1969)
  • The other side of loneliness (2006)

Other books

  • The Blue Butterfly (1971)

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” January 30, 1968 New York Post
  2. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/nyregion/ned-ogorman-poet-who-founded-innovative-school-in-harlem-dies-at-84.html?ref=obituaries&_r=0

External links[edit]