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WELCOME! to the Poetry Center for the Pioneer Valley Poetry Festival: Welcome to the New Year . . .


& the birthday of founding board member Christopher Sawyer Lauçanno!

Beginning the New Year / new Blog upon what might seem a sadness and yet it is not–

I have been pondering the marvelous completion of the life of Diane di Prima who we lost last October. . .

Her work her life has certainly been entwined with my own and I have found myself selfishly wanting more wanting to think of her as still “there” still at work.

Her son Rudi di Prima is hard at work to have a park in San Francisco named for her & I love this idea ....(if you do too letters of support can be sent here: and you can check out his posts and marvelous pics here:


The wholeness of the life of Dian di Prima, its deep and lasting effect on so many of us....its Example of how one might live in creativity with integrity and joy, can not be overstated.

For me that example ranges from what an Open and inclusive Form in poetry might look like all the way to how to parent how to live the struggle without struggling how to notice the Joy Present everywhere or even that one should notice the Joy present everywhere and so deliver that- carried like water from an artesian well, back to the Work in Poetry/ the Work in Parenting.

I can say I am a “better” poet for having known her work, watched and listened to it unfold over the course of 40 years.....but with equal importance I can assert that I am a better father better at parenting / partnering and the daily living of all of it...... and because of her being her Presence.

I am just hopeful enough to imagine a young man or woman boy or girl wandering in the little would be “Diane di Prima Park” and wondering....”who was Diane di Prima” and so then setting out “Keel to Breaker” as they discover the journey that is a life or that can be a life .....if you pursue it with love and passion and a little integrity...

I can imaging the young would be poet saying to herself as she turns the pages of di Prima’s “My Life as a Woman” ........ “I had no idea....listen to this....”

What better charge for a Park in the City of San Francisco....what better treasure to send off into time..... who better to Celebrate today.

There are videos up in the Archive. Take a listen.... find a book or return..... Celebrate Diane di Prima

Michael Franco

PS a link here to a marvelous article in the New Yorker:

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