Diane di Prima (born August 6, 1934) is an American poet and artist.
Di Prima was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1934. She attended Hunter College High School and Swarthmore College before dropping out to be a poet in Manhattan. Her official online biography notes that she is "a second generation American of Italian descent" and that "Her maternal grandfather, Domenico Mallozzi, was an active anarchist, and associate of Carlo Tresca and Emma Goldman." Di Prima began writing as a child and by the age of 19 was corresponding with Ezra Pound and Kenneth Patchen. Her first book of poetry, This Kind of Bird Flies Backward, was published in 1958 by Hettie and LeRoi Jones' Totem Press.
for Jackson Allen
My friend wears my scarf at his waist
I give him moonstones
He gives me shell & seaweeds
I am a shadow crossing ice
I am rusting knife in the water
I am pear tree bitten by frost
I uphold the mountain with my hand
Going there for the first time
it was so much smaller then
that crowded downstairs full of poetry
racks of tattered little mags against the wall