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Kenneth Koch Biography | Author of Paradiso

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Kenneth Koch (pronounced "coke") was born February 27, 1925, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father Stuart Koch owned a furniture store, and his mother Lillian wrote amateur literary reviews. As an adult, Koch admitted that, though his upbringing was pleasant enough, he longed to get away from his cozy, provincial Midwestern town, and writing poetry and stories was one way to escape it as a youngster. He has noted that he remembers writing his first poem at age five and that as a child he was quite enamored of nursery rhymes and children's stories.

After high school, Koch was drafted into the Army and served in the Philippines during World War II. He did not write about his harrowing war experiences until near the end of his life, by which time he had found a poetic voice to describe them. Koch enrolled at Harvard University when the war ended and there...

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This section contains 490 words
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Paradiso from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.