Ray DiPalma

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Ray DiPalma (1943-2016) (born in New Kensington, PA in 1943), is an American poet and visual artist who has published more than 40 collections of poetry, graphic work, and translations with various presses in the US and Europe. He was educated at Duquesne University (B.A., 1966) and University of Iowa (M.F.A., 1968).


DiPalma's writings have been widely anthologized and published in numerous journals. Translations of his poems have appeared in French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese. His visual works (including artist's books, collages, and prints) have been exhibited in numerous shows in the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America, and in a one-person show at the Stemplelplatt's Gallery in Amsterdam. Two videos based on his book January Zero were made in France.

He lives in New York City and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. His work has been seen at Art Institute of Chicago; Special Collections, University of California, San Diego; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; New York Public Library and the Museum of Modern Art.


Often associated with the Language poets (or L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, after the magazine that bears that name), DiPalma was the co-author of L E G E N D (1980) with Bruce Andrews, Charles Bernstein, Steve McCaffery, and Ron Silliman. L E G E N D was the only book to actually appear under the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E imprint.

His work has been praised by such notable poets as Jackson MacLow and Robert Creeley. About his 1995 collection, Motion of the Cypher, critic Marjorie Perloff has written, "These chiseled lyric meditations recall Wallace Stevens in their density, but they are written under the sign of Dada - appropriate for the late twentieth century, that casts a cold eye on the margins, the spaces between, where we live."

Of DiPalma's work, Robert Creeley has written:

"There's a hard earned and comforting brightness in these poems, like a light in an old time window. Their reflective propositions mark the familiar human seasons with like sense. Their wisdom reads: The infinite to be / two /one and the same thing . . . This is company that won't ever go out of business."

Selected publications[edit]

  • Max (The Body Press, 1969)
  • Between the Shapes (Zeitgeist, 1970)
  • Soli (Ithaca House, 1974)
  • Observatory Gardens (Berkeley: Tuumba Press, 1979)
  • Planh (Casement, 1979)
  • January Zero (Coffee House Press, 1984)
  • The Jukebox of Memnon (Potes & Poets Press, 1988)
  • Raik (Roof Books, 1989)
  • Mock Fandango (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1991)
  • Metropolitan Corridor (Zasterle, 1992)
  • Numbers and Tempers: Selected Early Poems (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1993)
  • Platinum Replica [with Elizabeth DiPalma] (Stele, 1994)
  • Hôtel des Ruines [with Alexandre Delay], (Royaumont, 1994)
  • Provocations (Potes & Poets, 1994)
  • Motion of the Cypher ( Roof Books, 1995)
  • Letters (Littoral Books, 1998)
  • Chartings, with Lyn Hejinian. (Chax Press, 2000)
  • 45° (Stele, 2000)
  • The Ancient Use of Stone: Journals and Daybooks 1998-2008. (Otis Books / Seismicity Editions, 2009)

External links[edit]