Born into a conservative Italian American family, di Prima grew up in Brooklyn but broke away from her roots to follow through on a lifelong commitment to become a poet, first made when she was in high school. Immersing herself in Manhattan's early 1950s Bohemia, di Prima quickly emerged as a renowned poet, an influential editor, and a single mother at a time when this was unheard of.
Vividly chronicling the intense, creative cauldron of those years, she recounts her revolutionary relationships and sexuality, and how her experimentation led her to define herself as a woman. What emerges is a fascinating narrative about the courage and triumph of the imagination, and how one woman discovered her role in the world.
About the Author
Diane di Prima is San Francisco’s 5th Poet Laureate. Poet, prose writer, playwright and teacher, di Prima is the author of 44 books of poetry and prose, including Pieces of a Song, Loba: Books I and II and the new expanded version of Revolutionary Letters. Her work has been translated into over twenty languages.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1934, Diane di Prima lived and wrote in Manhattan for many years, where she became known in the Beat movement and other experimental post-World War II literary and art movements. For the past 42 years she has lived and worked in and around San Francisco. She took part in the activities of the Diggers, doing street performance and delivering free food to 25 communes three times a week, studied meditation at the San Francisco Zen Center with Suzuki Roshi and Sanskrit at the California Institute of Asian Studies (now CIIS) and raised her five children.
In addition to her writings, Diane di Prima has done readings and lectures at over 300 universities and major institutions; and has taught at the Zen Center, Naropa Institute School of Poetics, Esalen Institute, New College of California, California College of Arts & Crafts, San Francisco Art Institute, among many others. She has produced plays and poetry used in theatre productions and has performed in several experimental movies in New York in the 1960s.
Diane di Prima lives and works in San Francisco’s Excelsior District. She teaches private classes and workshops in the Mission, and is currently working on the second volume of her autobiography.