Leslie Scalapino

Leslie Scalapino

Leslie Scalapino (July 25, 1944 – May 28, 2010) was a United States poet, experimental prose writer, playwright, essayist, and editor, sometimes grouped in with the Language poets, though she felt closely tied to the Beat poets. A longtime resident of California's Bay Area, she earned an M.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. One of Scalapino's most critically well-received works is way (North Point Press, 1988), a long poem which won the Poetry Center Award, the Lawrence Lipton Prize, and the American Book Award.Scalapino was born in Santa Barbara, California and raised in Berkeley. She traveled throughout her youth and adulthood to Asia, Africa and Europe and her writing was intensely influenced by these experiences. In childhood Scalapino traveled with her father Robert A. Scalapino (founder of UC Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies), her mother, and her two sisters (Diane and Lynne). She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon and received her B.A. in Literature in 1966 before moving on to earn her M.A. at UC Berkeley. Scalapino published her first book O and Other Poems in 1976. During her lifetime, she published more than thirty books of poetry, prose, inter-genre fiction, plays, essays, and collaborations. Other well-known works of hers include The Return of Painting, The Pearl, and Orion : A Trilogy (North Point, 1991; Talisman, 1997), Dahlia's Iris: Secret Autobiography and Fiction (FC2), Sight (a collaboration with Lyn Hejinian; Edge Books), and Zither & Autobiography (Wesleyan University Press).Scalapino's poetry has been widely anthologized, including appearances in the influential Postmodern American Poetry, From the Other Side of the Century, and Poems for the Millennium anthologies, as well as the popular Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize series anthologies. Her work was the subject of a special "critical feature" appearing in an issue of the online poetry journal How2.From 1986 until 2010, Scalapino ran the Oakland small press she founded, O Books. Scalapino taught writing at various institutions, including 16 years in the MFA program at Bard College. Other schools she taught at over the years included Mills College, the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, UC San Diego, and Naropa University.(from Wikipedia)
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