Diane DiPrima

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Diane DiPrima (2004)

Diane DiPrima (born August 6, 1934 in Brooklyn , New York City , † October 25, 2020 ) was an American writer of the Beat Generation .


Childhood and adolescence

DiPrima was a second generation American of Italian descent and grew up in Brooklyn. In her official online bio, she states that her maternal grandfather, Domenico Mallozzi, was an active anarchist and worked with Carlo Tresca and Emma Goldman . She attended Swarthmore College, which she left without a degree to live as a poet in Manhattan. DiPrima had started writing as a child and when she was 19, she corresponded with Ezra Pound and Kenneth Patchen .

Connection with the beats

In 1957 she met Allen Ginsberg , Jack Kerouac and other authors of the Beat Generation . Her first volume of poetry, This Kind of Bird Flies Backward , was published by Hettie and LeRoi Jones ' Totem Press in 1958 . She worked with Hettie Jones and LeRoi Jones and helped publish Yūgen magazine . She became LeRoi Jones' lover and fathered a daughter with him. In 1961 she published her first prose book entitled Dinners and Nightmares . DiPrima published 37 issues of the literary magazine The Floating Bear (1961–1969). The hectographed booklet was only distributed by post. DiPrima spent the late 1950s and early 1960s in Manhattan. She lived in California for some time , in Stinson Beach and Topanga Canyon, then came back to New York and eventually moved to San Francisco . DiPrima had a bridging function between the Beat Generation and the later hippie movement, as well as between the artists from the east and west coast. She was, first with LeRoi Jones (since 1967 Amiri Baraka ), then alone, the editor of the renowned poetry magazine The Floating Bear and co-founder of the New York Poets Theater , as well as founder of Poets Press. In 1966 she lived for some time in Timothy Leary's psychedelic community in Millbrook , New York. DiPrima printed the first two editions of Leary's Psychodelic Prayers (spring 1966).

At the end of the sixties she wrote fictional erotic memoirs, Memoirs of a Beatnik, for Maurice Girodias ' New Yorker, despite authors like Clarence Major or Barry Malzberg, purely pornographic publisher Olympia Press . It became her most widely read work. In 2001 she published another autobiographical book about her life in New York, Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years .

Your life after the 1960s

In the 1970s, Diane DiPrima began to study Zen Buddhism , Sanskrit , Gnostics and alchemy . She taught at the Jack Kerouac School for Disembodied Poetics and was involved with the Diggers Theater . She was a co-founder of the San Francisco -based Institute of Magical and Healing Arts. In 1978 she published her main work, the long poem Loba , of which an expanded edition appeared in 1998. Then she worked as a lecturer in creative writing. DiPrima published 35 volumes of poetry. A selection of her poems, Pieces of a Song , appeared in 1990. She raised five children.


  • This Kind of Bird Flies Backward , Totem Press, New York 1958. Reprint: Paperbook Gallery, New York 1963.
  • Dinners and Nightmares (short stories), Corinth Books, New York 1961; revised edition 1974; Last Gasp, San Francisco 1998.
  • A New Handbook of Heaven . Auerhahn Press, San Francisco 1963; Poets Press, New York 1968.
  • Poets Vaudeville . Feed Folly Press, New York 1964
  • Seven Love Poems from the Middle Latin (translations), Poets Press, New York 1965.
  • Poems for Freddie , 1966
  • Earthsongs: Poems 1957-1959 . Alan S. Marlowe (Ed.). Poets Press, New York 1968.
  • Hotel Albert: Poems . Poets Press, New York 1968.
  • War Poems (Editor), Poets Press, New York, 1968
  • LA Odyssey. Poets Press, San Francisco 1969.
  • Memoirs of a Beatnik , Olympia Press , Traveller's Companion Series , New York 1969 (republished with a new afterword, Last Gasp, San Francisco 1988).
  • The Book of Hours , 1970
  • Kerhonkson Journal . Oyez, Berkeley, CA, 1971
  • Revolutionary letters . City Lights, San Francisco 1971.
  • The Calculus of Variation . np [privately printed], San Francisco 1972. Short stories.
  • Loba, Part I . Capra Press, Santa Barbara 1973.
  • Freddie Poems . Eidolon Editions, Point Reyes, CA, 1974
  • Loba, Part II , Eidolon Editions, Point Reyes, 1976
  • Selected Poems: 1956-1976 , North Atlantic Books, Plainfield, VT, 1977
  • Loba, Parts 1-VII , Wingbow, Berkeley, CA, 1978
  • Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems , City Lights, 1990
  • Loba . Penguin, New York 1998.
  • Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years , Viking Press , NY, 2001. Autobiography.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Diane Di Prima (1934-2020). In: allenginsberg.org. October 26, 2020, accessed on October 26, 2020 .
  2. San Francisco's Diane di Prima is dead at 86: she decided to be a poet at 14, and wrote every day for the rest of her life. In: The Book Haven. Retrieved October 27, 2020 .
  3. DiPrima published numbers 1 to 26 (February 1961 to October 1963) with LeRoi Jones. A 38th special issue appeared in 1971 with Intrepid . To the journal: Jed Birmingham: Floating Bear Archive. In: RealityStudio. October 3, 2006, accessed October 26, 2020 .