In this rich and passionate memoir, influential poet Diane di Prima explores the first three decades of her extraordinary life. Only by heroic effort was she able to break away from her intense Brooklyn Italian family to follow through on the lifelong commitment to poetry she made in high school. Immersed in the proto-Beat world of Manhattan's early 1950s Bohemia, she emerged as a major force, not only establishing herself as a poet, but also coediting the influential literary newsletter, The Floating Bear, and cofounding The Poet's Theatre.
Recollections of My Life as a Woman chronicles the intense, creative cauldron of those years as the Beat movement emerged on both coasts, and the country accelerated into the sixties. Poetry, painting, dance, and theater flowed into one another, and well-known figures from all those worlds -- including Merce Cunningham, Frank O'Hara, Audre Lorde, Trisha Brown, and Franz Kline -- move through her story. Di Prima was a deliberate single parent at a time when that was unheard of, and her relationships and sexuality were as revolutionary as her writing. This is a powerful and unique remembering of how one woman's life revealed itself to her.