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Diane di Prima's Biography

Member Info

San Francisco
Dec 2007

I've published 44 books, most of them poetry, but have also published memoir, creative nonfiction, short stories, plays. I have just about as many unpublished manuscripts ready to go as I have published work.  I am 75 years old and have been writing seriously for 61 years. In 1961 I started Poets Press in New York City, in 1970s,  Eidolon Editions in San Francisco, which still occasionally publishes a chapbook or two. I was a cofounder of The New York Poets Theatre (1961-1965), and edited The Floating Bear, a mimeo newsletter, 1961-1969, first with LeRoiI Jones (till '63) and then solo. Mother of 5, grandmother of 4, and great-grandmother of 2. I am also a visual artist, have been painting (watercolor) for the past 12 years, have done collage and photography since the mid-1960s. (Still use film.) I tend to be activist, tho I avoid political organizations. My beliefs are anarchist. I am student of the Western occult traditions, and of alchemy; have also been a practicing Buddhist since 1962. First teacher: Shunryu Suzuki at SF Zen Center. Began the study of Tibetan Buddhism in 1974, first as student of Chogyam Trungpa, and now of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. Am currently the fifth Poet Laureate of San Francisco. 

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Viking, Penguin