Daniela Gioseffi

Photo Credit: TKMultimedia.com

Daniela Gioseffi won an AMERICAN BOOK AWARD in 1990 and has authored sixteen books of poetry and prose from major and university presses. She was a multicultural pioneer editing anthologies of world literature since 1988. Her books and writings have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Serbo-Croatian, and published worldwide. She’s published in hundreds of major literary periodicals both online and in hard copy, i.e. The Paris Review, Chelsea, Antaeus, The Nation, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, The Cortland Review, American Book Review, Library Journal, Rain Taxi Review. Her first collection of poetry, Eggs in the Lake contained poems which won her a NY State Council for the Arts grant award in poetry, 1972. It was published by BOA Editions: Rochester, NY, 1977. Her latest book of poetry, 2007, is a bilingual edition titled: Blood Autumn, Autunno di sangue published by VIA Folios at The Calandra Institute of The City University of NY. Gioseffi won the PEN SYNDICATED FICTION AWARD in 1990, for her short story, “Daffodil Dollars,” aired on "The Sound of Words," NPR, hosted by Alan Cheuse. In Bed with the Exotic Enemy, Stories & Novella, Avisson Books, Greensboro: NC 1995, contains the PEN prize winning story. Her fiction appears in Kaleidescope: Stories of the American Experience, Oxford University Press, 1993 with that of Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Alice Walker and Amy Tan. Her first novel, The Great American Belly (NY: Doubleday, Dell and New English Library: London) was well reviewed in The Washington Post by Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove. It was written into a screenplay by Michael Christofer,  Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of "The Shadow Box," and optioned by Warner Bros. Her poetry and fiction appear in many anthologies from major presses, i.e. Viking, Penguin, Harper Collins, Faber & Faber, Doubleday, Simon & Schuster.

          Gioseffi’s renowned anthology, Women on War: International Writings, (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster) was reissued in a new edition by The Feminist Press: City University of NY, 2003. It’s a women’s studies classic in print for over 25 years. She published On Prejudice: A Global Perspective (Anchor/ Doubleday, 1993) with an award winning 50-page introduction by It won a WORLD PEACE AWARD from The Ploughshares fund and was presented at the U.N. 

          Her latest novel is “Wild Nights! Wild Nights!” The Story of Emily Dickinson’s Master, with a non-fiction afterword upon which the biographical novel is based: Lover of Science and Scientist in Dark Days of the Republic, 2010, was well reviewed in The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin. The non-fiction afterword to the Dickinson book was praised by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Galway Kinnell; Alice Quinn, Director of the Poetry Society of America; and Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the USA who wrote that he admired the way Gioseffi evoked the life and times of Dickinson. 

          Her second and third collections of poetry, Word Wounds and Water Flowers, and Going On were published by VIA Folios at Purdue University. Her next, Symbiosis, 2002, was an e-book from Rattapallax Press: NY. Daniela is editor/publisher of www.PoetsUSA.com/ an archive of contemporary poetry, interviews, and commentary, as well as www.Eco-Poetry.org/ Literary Arts, Graphics and Climate Crisis Literature. In 2007, she won JOHN CIARDI AWARD for LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT in POETRY. 

          At the beginning of her career in the 1970's Gioseffi was chosen as a finalist for the Yale Series of Younger poets by Stanley Kunitz; a finalist for the Pittsburgh University Poetry Series by Muriel Rukeyser; and Academy of American Poets First Book Award by William Meredith. These varied judges demonstrated a range of tastes for her universal style of poetry.

          Gioseffi has taught Creative Writing, Communication Arts and World Literature at various institutions around the Metropolitan area, i.e. New York University’ Publishing Institute, Brooklyn College CUNY, Long Island and Pace Universities and The School of Visual Arts. For many years she taught Creative Writing, and for Poets-in-the-Schools, Inc. For her forty years of teaching, Professor Gioseffi won a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from The ASSOCIATION OF ITALIAN AMERICAN EDUCATORS, 2003. Her verse has been etched in marble on a wall of the 7th Ave. Concourse of PENN Station, NY, with that of Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams in 2002.

          In 2006, she appeared on The Poet and the Poem, a nationally syndicated radio show produced by The Library of Congress and The National Endowment for the Arts, Wash., D.C. She has been featured at The Miami International Book Fair, The Barcelona International Book Fair, The Conference on Global Education at the UN, The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, The Peoples Poetry Festival in NY, and at Poets House, NY. Daniela was creator and producer of THE FIRST BROOKLYN BRIDGE POETRY WALK, 1972 with a grant from The Creative Artists Public Service Program of The NY State Council for the Arts. David Amram was featured as “Pied Piper.” That event continues to be produced by Poets House, NY, annually.

          Recently, Daniela led a seminar for POETS HOUSE on The Transcendental Thread Through American Poetry from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson to the Present. She also hosted events at Poets House celebrating Italian American poets, i.e. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, John Ciardi, Joseph Ceravalo, Paul Violi, Donna Massini, Lee Briccetti, Paul Mariani and many more. At www.Gioseffi.com one can view a list of many readings and appearances Daniela has done. On www.PoetsUSA.com, many accomplished poets have been featured in special editions on 9/11/2002 i.e Ernesto Cardenal, Galway Kinnell, Robert Bly, Alfred Corn, Grace Paley, D. Nurkse, Meena Alexander, Nancy Mercado, Ishmael Reed,

           Her latest book Pioneering Italian American Culture:  Escaping la Vita della Cucina: Essays, Reviews and Interviews by and about Daniela Gioseffi with an Introduction by Angelina Oberdan, appeared in March 2013 from VIA Folios at Calandra Institute of the City University of NY and was well reviewed in The Hollins Critic. Several accomplished authors offered tributes to book, celebrating Gioseffi as one of the most widely celebrated pioneers of Italian American literature. She was the first woman with an Italian name, aside from Diane De Prima to be widely published in mainstream American poetry anthologies of the 1960's and 70's.

           Her work has been praised by Galway Kinnell, Robert Bly, Isabella Gardner, Stanley Kunitz, Muriel Rukeyser, John Logan, Emile Capoulya formerly of The Nation, Diane Wakoski and many others. Grace Paley wrote: "Everything Daniela does, she does well. Among other things I'd put my life in her hands." Nona Balakian, former staff reviewer for the The New York Times, wrote upon the publication of Gioseffi's first collection of poems Eggs in the Lake, BOA Edtions, Ltd., 1976: "Daniela Gioseffi is one of the finest new poets around. She has achieved what the surrealists hoped for poetry, but nothing is ever pretentious or done for effect...." Geraldine Ferraro, Mario Cuomo and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as John Ciardi wrote of Gioseffi's writings as combating the cruel Hollywood stereotype of Italian Americans and exposing prejudice toward all etnic groups, especially with her World Peace Award winning compendium: On Prejudice: A Global Perspective with it’s groundbreaking introduction on the dynamics of racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and mono-culturalism.   

          Daniela hosted Poems of Ecological Sanity and Climate Crisis Emergency, April 12, 2013, at Poets House, NY City, with many poets i.e. Alfred Corn, D. Nurkse, Eliot Katz,  Burt Kimmelman, Nancy Mercado. Marge Piercy, Alica Ostriker, Ishmael Reed and Myra Shapiro are among those who serve on the Advisory Editorial Board of www.Eco-Poetry.org/. More about Gioseffi's life and career can be found on Wikipedia. Born in 1941 in Orange, New Jersey, she has lived in New York City for over 45 years. She’s been a Civil Rights activist and was abused by the KKK in 1961 in Selma when she served as a journalist on WSLA-TV announcing Freedom Rides and Sit-ins, among the first to integrate Deep South television. She's been a anti-nuclear activist who worked with the Writers and Publishers Alliance for Nuclear Disarmament and SANE, as president of its oldest chapter in Brooklyn Heights. She’s currently editor of Ecological Poetry, at www.Eco-Poetry.org/ featuring literary art, graphics and climate crisis literature. She editorializes on Climate Crisis Emergency as the most vital challenge facing all of life, literature and culture on the globe.  Daniela is active in the "Forward on Climate" movement of environmentalist Bill McKibben, as well as Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, The Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, NRDC, Greenpeace, etc. She published an editorial linking to facts from all such non-profits at: www.Eco-Poetry.org/Climate_Crisis.html

          Her writing espouses the oneness of humanity and its dependence upon a common biosphere. Gioseffi is adamant about the need to address the most vital issue of our time: Climate Change now upon us in melting glaciers, acidifying oceans, floods, droughts, super-storms, earthquakes, sea surges, famines, loss of drinkable water, death of wildlife and destruction of habitable Earth. The American capitalist system, once productive of a better life, has gone out-of-control by ruthlessly profiteering fossil fuel multi-national corporations who are destroying our planetary sustenance with carbon emissions and costing multi-billions of dollars of damage to the environment, as The World Bank Study: "Turn Down the Heat,” published in Nov. 2012, warns. “There’s no denying the severity of climate crisis emergency,” one of the world's greatest climatologists, a former NASA scientist, Dr. James E. Hansen of Columbia University explains. He was arrested at Feb. 13th, 2013 in front of the Whitehouse with eminent environmentalist, Bill McKibben of 350.org and the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Michael Burne. The Sierra Club involved itself in Civil Disobedience for the first time in it’s 120 year-old history, because of the severity of climate crisis now upon us. Gioseffi was a proponent of the 40,000 strong protest march to The Whitehouse, Feb. 17th regarding halting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. If burned the tar sands, filthiest of fossil fuels, will mean "game over" for the habitable planet. All the world's top climatologists agree carbon emissions must be greatly reduced to save habitable Earth. This is a PEN issue as literary art and all culture will die as the human race struggles for sustenance in a dying biosphere. "This is not a political issue, but a life sustaining and threatening one that effects literature and art worldwide and all Pen members need to understand that," writes Daniela. "What is the role of the poet and the writer, now that Earth is dying?"

          Daniela Gioseffi is the widow of Dr. Lionel B. Luttinger, a post doctorate in Chemistry from Yale University. His brother was Dr. Joachim Luttinger, Chair of Physics at Columbia University, discoverer of Luttinger's Liquids, important in super-conductivity. She has a daughter, Thea, from a first marriage, who is a computer graphics artist and musician/composer at TK Multimedia, and two grandchildren. Daniela is a gourment cook, gardener, and painter of natural scenes and portraits. When young, she was a professional Equity actress who toured the country with National Players Classical Repertory Company and  held leading roles at various Summer Theatre’s. She played with Helen Hayes and Anne Revere at Olney Summer Theatre and at Corning Summer Theatre. She's been a professional singer of mainstream jazz from the “American Song Book” i.e. Gershwin, Carmichael, Rogers, Count Basie, in the style of Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmin McCrae. She continues to give readings and is writing a memoir titled Wild Days: Life of a Immigrant's Daughter, A New Wave Femnist. A biographical documentary film Author and Activist: The Daniela Gioseffi Story is in production and will be previewed in March, 2015. More about it can be found at www.AuthorandActivist.com/


PIONEERING ITALIAN AMERICAN CULTURE: Essays, Reviews, and Interviews by and about Daniela Gioseffi, (C) 2013 VIA Folios 85, Bordighera Press: Calandra Institute: CUNY) www.bordigerapress.org/


BLOOD AUTUMN, Autunno di sangue, New & Selected Poems. John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry, (C) 2007. VIA Folios/ Bordighera Press @ Calandra Inst. City University of NY. www.bordigherapress.org/

WOMEN ON WAR: INTERNATIONAL WRITINGS, Feminist Press: City University of NY Grad. Center, 2003. First Edition, Touchstone/ Simon & Schuster: NY, London, Canada, 1990 AMERICAN BOOK AWARD. Also in German: FRUEN UBER DEN KRIEG, Weiner Frauenverlag: Vienna, 1999. www.feministpress.org

SYMBIOSIS: Poems, Rattapallax Press: NY, e-books, 2002. GOING ON, Poems, Poems, VIA Folios/Bordighera Press, Florida Atlantic U. Baca Raton, 2002. 

WORD WOUNDS and WATER FLOWERS: Poems, Via Folios/Bordighera Press, Purdue U: 1995. www.bordighera.press.org/ 

IN BED WITH THE EXOTIC ENEMY: Novella & Stories, Avisson Books; Greensboro; NC:1995. 

ON PREJUDICE: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, Anchor/ Doubleday: NY:1993. World Peace Award, the Ploughshares Fund:CA, 1993. Also in Japanese: Akashi Shorten Co. Tuttle Mori Agency, Tokyo: 1996. 

"Rosa in Television Land," in STORIES OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, eds. Perkins & Perkins, (c)1993. Oxford University Press: NY. 

EGGS IN THE LAKE: poems, BOA Editions: Rochester; NY: 1979. NY State Council for the Arts Grant Award: NEA Grant, for poems therein. 

THE GREAT AMERICAN BELLY, Novel, Doubleday and Dell: NY, New English Library: London, 1977-79. Also, in Serbo Croatian: AMERIcKI TRBUsKI PLES Gravicki zavod Hrvatske: Zagreb, 1980.

Full bibliography of stories, essays and poems is 40 pages long. re. periodicals and anthologies. Over 2000 URL's feature items re. Gioseffi on the internet. Google "Daniela Gioseffi" Or write to editor@eco-poetry.og/

Translation Bibliography

DUST DISAPPEARS: Poems of Carilda Oliver Labra of Cuba translated by Daniela Gioseffi with Enildo Garcia from the Spanish into English with a complimentary Introduction by Gregory Rabassa. Published by Cross Cultural Comunications, Merrick: NY, 1995. 


Poems of Cuban poets Pablo Armando Fernandez of Cuba translated by Daniela Gioseffi with Enildo Garcia and Fina Garcia Marruz with Naomi Escandell from the Spanish to English in THE CARIBBEAN WRITER, 1991-1994, Vols. 5 & 8. 


Poems of Maria Luisa Spazziani of Italy, translated by Daniela Gioseffi in  THE YALE REVIEW OF ITALIAN POETRY, from Italian into English, Vol. 11, Spring 1998. 



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