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Diane di Prima: A Special Reading and "How I Write" Conversation

Feminist Beat poet Diane di Prima was born in Brooklyn, New York, a second-generation American of Italian descent. She began writing at the age of seven, and at the age of fourteen, decided to live her life as a poet. After attending Swarthmore College for two years, she moved to Greenwich Village, becoming a writer in the emerging Beat movement. She edited the literary magazine The Floating Bear, first with Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) from 1961 to 1963 and then solo until 1969. She co-founded the Poets Press and the New York Poets Theatre and founded Eidolon Editions and the Poets Institute. After joining Timothy Leary’s intentional community in upstate New York, she moved to San Francisco in 1968.

Di Prima has published more than forty books. Her poetry collections include This Kind of Bird Flies Backwards, Revolutionary Letters, the long poem Loba (hailed by many as the female counterpart to Allen Ginsberg’sHowl), Seminary Poems, and Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems. She is also the author of the short story collection Dinners and Nightmares, the semi-autobiographical Memoirs of a Beatnik, and the memoirRecollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years.

A practicing Buddhist since 1962, she also co-founded the San Francisco Institute of Magical and Healing Arts. Di Prima was named Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 2009, and she was awarded the National Poetry Association’s Lifetime Service Award, the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, and other honors. In this special event, Diane di Prima will read some of her poems and join Hilton Obenzinger in a “How I Write” conversation.

This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center; the Hume Writing Center; the Department of English; the Creative Writing Program; the American Studies Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; the Department of Comparative Literature; and Stanford Continuing Studies.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013. 07:30 PM


Geology Corner, Building 320, Room 105