Poet, editor, and translator Daisy Aldan was born in New York City to actor Esther Edelheit Aldan and designer Louis Aldan. As a child actor, Daisy Aldan starred in the CBS radio program Let’s Pretend. She earned a BA at Hunter College and an MA at Brooklyn College and completed doctoral coursework at New York University.
Aldan was influenced by modern French poetry and metaphysics. She was first published in Poetry at age 12 and became a member of the New York School poetry scene of the 1950s and 1960s. Her numerous volumes of poetry include The Destruction of Cathedrals and Other Poems (1963), Seven: Seven (Poems and Photographs) (1965), Love Poems of Daisy Aldan (1972), and Between High Tides (1978), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of a work of poetics, The Art and Craft of Poetry (1981). The Collected Poems of Daisy Aldan (2002) was published posthumously.
Aldan edited the literary magazines Folder Magazine of Literature and Art, which she cofounded with Richard Miller, and Two Cities, a bilingual journal she coedited with Anaïs Nin. With Richard Miller, she cofounded Tiber Press, which later became Folder Editions and through which she published the 1959 poetry and visual art anthology A New Folder: Americans: Poems and Drawings.
Aldan was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and an honorary doctorate from the University of Karachi (Pakistan). Selections of her papers are archived in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin and in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.