Laura Terracina, 1584
Terracina was born in Chiaia, a suburb of Naples. Her mother, Diana Anfora of Sorrento and father, Paolo Terracina, had at least one more daughter and two sons. She got encouragement from the famous poet Vittoria Colonna, who sent her a brief poem praising her talents. In 1545, she entered the Academi of the Incogniti in Naples and got to know several literari figures before she left in 1547.
She married her relative Polidoro Terracina and sometimes addressed poems to him. She had befriended many influential people of her day, like the patroness Giovanna d'Aragona and the writer Angelo di Costanzo.
She published nine volumes of poetry, both in Florence and in Venice. In Venice, she published the chivalric romance Discorso sopra il Principio di Tutti I Canti di Orlando Furioso, a poem linked to Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, which was reprinted thirteen times. In it she defended women from their detractors, but laments that not more have literary pursuits.
Sometimes she dedicated poems to those she had met at the Academi of the Incogniti. In the many poems she wrote in praise of others, she generally spoke of her unworthiness as a poet. She exchanged poems of praise with Laura Battiferri, in which the two women praised the other, but trivialized their own talents.
During her lifetime she was lauded for her work. In some of her works she deplores social disturbances and political turmoil. She also insisted that women should pursue fame for their work and addressed her seventh book to the widows of Naples.
The National Library of Florence holds more than two hundred of her uncollected poems.
- Jaffe, Irma B. and Colombardo, Gernando (2002). Shining eyes, cruel fortune: the lives and loves of Italian Renaissance Women Poets. Fordham University Press.
- Kirkham, Victoria (2006). Laura Battiferra and her literary circle: an anthology. The University of Chicago Press.
- Larsen, Anne R. (2006). From mother and daughter: poems, dialogues, and letters of les dames Des Roches. The University of Chicago Press.
- Robin, Diana Maury, Larsen, Anne R. and Levin, Carole (2007). Encyclopedia of women in the Renaissance: Italy, France, and England. ABC-CLIO, Inc.