[Dianne Di Prima, Boulder Colorado, July 1987. Photo. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate. licensing via Corbis
Poet, priestess, teacher, unrepentant activist and role-model, one of the key figures of the original “Beats” (and one of the few women in that confessedly overly white male circle), Diane di Prima, the remarkable Diane di Prima, is 77 years old today. Happy Birthday Diane!
Her March 2008 reading for the University of California (Berkeley)’s “Lunch Poems” series (with an introduction by Robert Hass
– we’ve mentioned this series before – can be accessed here
A quite remarkable video from the Free University of San Francisco, has her reading from the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley
, “and from her own notes on art, poetry and life”. That can be accessed here
Additional great video of her reading is available here
In 2009, she was honored (by Mayor Gavin Newsom) with the position of (5th) Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco
. A full record (you might want to skip all the introductory speeches and go right to Diane’s acceptance speech) is available here
Revolutionary Letters, one of DiPrima’s two great on-going sequences. Here
‘s some representative texts (#1, #40, and #51) – and #4.
– and one more recent
(Revolutionary Letter #49, appears, alongside selections from her other great sequence, Loba, (alongside much else), in this reading
, from 1973, preserved by Bard College
(notes on that reading are here
A year later, she was recorded reading with Allen and Anne Waldman
at Naropa. That reading can be accessed here
(once again, sizeable sections of Loba
‘s Dale Smith’s sharp take on Loba. Here
‘s another response to the book.
– A Floating Bear Archive (a comprehensive display of Floating Bear covers) may be viewed here
Tomorrow, The Poetry Deal
, Melanie La Rosa’s recently-completed film on Diane, plays at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York (with readings by Barbara Henning and David Henderson).
In San Francisco, Diane herself and Michael McClure
read at the Mythos Fine Art Gallery in a “Fly-By From The Realms of Burning Gold”.
Happy Birthday, Diane. Long may you inspire!