Ray DiPalma

Ray DiPalma (1943-2016) in the 1970's. Courtesy Best American Poetry blog.

Ray DiPalma (1943-2016) was an American poet and [visual artist, who published more than 50 collections of poetry, graphic work, and translations.


DiPalma was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Duquesne University, earning a B.A. in 1966; and the University of Iowa, earning a M.F.A. in 1968).

From 1967 to 1976 he operated Doones Press, a small press for Language poetry.[1]

He lived in New York City and taught at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

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. 2 videos based on his book January Zero were made in France.

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. Of DiPalma's work, 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."

About DiPalma's 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."


DiPalma received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Fund for Poetry.[2]



  • Max. Body Press, 1969.[1]
  • Macaroons. Bowling Green, OH: Doones Press, 1969.
  • Between the Shapes: Poems. East Lansing, MI: Zeitgeist, 1970.
  • The Gallery Goers. Ithaca, NY: Ithaca House, 1971.
  • All Bowed Down. Providence, RI: Burning Deck, 1972.
  • Shelter. Bowling Green, OH: Doones Press, 1972.
  • Borgia Circles. Northampton, MA: Sand Project Press, 1972.
  • Max: A sequel. Providence, RI: Burning Deck, 1974.
  • Soli. Ithaca, NY: Ithaca House, 1974.
  • Accidental Interludes. Cranston, RI: Turkey Press, 1975.
  • Pocket Memo. New York: privately published, 1976.
  • 10 Faces. New York: Doones Press, 1976.
  • Marquee: A score. New York: Asylum's Press, 1977.
  • Ten Pyramids. 1977.
  • Matak. New York: Doones Press, 1977.
  • Canal Zone Intermission. New York: X Editions, 1977.
  • Original Confidential. New York: privately published, 1978.
  • Cuiva Sails. College Park, MD: Sun & Moon Press, 1978.
  • Observatory Gardens. Berkeley, CA: Tuumba Press, 1979.
  • Planh. New York: Casement Books, 1979.
  • Genesis. Toronton: Underwhich Editions, 1980.
  • Labyrinth Radio. New York: Case Books, 1981.
  • January Zero. West Branch, IA: Coffee House Press, 1984.
  • Chan. New York: One of Twelve Press, 1984.
  • Startle Luna. New York: Sleight of Hand Books, 1984.
  • Landscapes. New York: privately published, 1985.
  • The Jukebox of Memnon Elmwood, CT: Potes & Poets Press, 1988.
  • Raik. New York: Roof Books, 1989.
  • Room 4. Mamroneck, NY: Room Press, 1989.
  • Night Copy. New York: Stele Press, 1990.
  • Mock Fandango. Los Angeles: 20 Pages, 1991.
  • 14 Poems from Metropolitan Corridor. Elmwood, CT: Abacus, 1991.
  • Metropolitan Corridor. Tenerife, Canary Islands: Zasterle, 1992.
  • Numbers and Tempers: Selected early poems. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1993.
  • Symptoms of the Absolute. New York: Stele, 1993.
  • Platinum Replica (with Elizabeth DiPalma). New York: Stele, 1994.
  • Hôtel des Ruines (with Alexandre Delay). Asnières-sur-Oise, France: Editions Royaumont, 1994.
  • Provocations. Elmwood, CT: Potes & Poets Press, 1994.
  • Motion of the Cypher. New York: Roof Books, 1995.
  • Black Work. New York: Stele, 1996.
  • Le Tombeau de Reverdy. New York: 1997.
  • The Narrows. New York: Stele, 1998.
  • I Saw the King of Spann. New York: Stele, 1998.
  • Letters. Los Angeles: Littoral, 1998.
  • Blackbird Weather. Amman, Jordan: Oasis Press, 1998.
  • Chartings (with Lyn Hejinian). Tucson, AZ: Chax Press, 2000.
  • 45°. New York: Stele Press, 2000.
  • Red House. [Cambridge, MA?]: Faux Press, 2000.
  • Further Apocrypha. Simi Valley, CA: Pie in the Sky Press, 2009.
  • Obedient Laughter. Los Angeles: Otis Books / Seismicity Editions, 2014.
  • House of Keys. Green River, VT: Longhouse, 2010.
  • Pensieri. Echo Park Press, 2009;[2] Bordeaux, France: Éditions de l'Attente, 2011.


Ray DiPalma at the Kelly Writers House, April 2, 2012

Ray DiPalma at the Kelly Writers House, April 2, 2012

  • The Ancient Use of Stone: Journals and daybooks, 1998-2008. Los Angeles: Otis Books / Seismicity Editions, 2009.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Steven Allen May, Max by Ray DiPalma (1974), Chap*Books, April 27, 2015. Blogspot, Web, Jan. 22, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ray DiPalma 1943-2016, Poetry Foundation. Web, Jan. 22, 2017.
  3. Search results = au:Ray DiPalma, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Jan. 22, 2017.

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