Joseph Di Prisco
Poet and writer Joseph Di Prisco was born in New York City and grew up in Brooklyn and San Francisco. He earned a BA from Syracuse University and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Di Prisco is the author of the poetry collections Wit’s End (1975); Poems in Which (2000), winner of a Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize; and Sightlines from the Cheap Seats (2017). His novels include Confessions of Brother Eli (2000), Sun City (2002), All for Now (2012), The Alzhammer (2016), and Sibella & Sibella (2018). His two memoirs, Subway to California (2014) and The Pope of Brooklyn (2017), detail his upbringing among petty criminals and small-time hustlers such as his father, the “Pope of Brooklyn.” Both memoirs were widely praised; Kirkus noted that Di Prisco “can break your heart recalling the most romantic memory of his life or make you laugh out loud when, for example, he defines the Catholic notion of Limbo: ‘not a horrible place, not a great place, sort of like parts of Staten Island.’”
With Michael Riera, Di Prisco coauthored two books on adolescent development, Field Guide to the American Teenager (2000) and Right from Wrong (2002). He is board chair emeritus of Redwood Day School and founding chair of the Simpson Literary Project. His honors and awards include a Theodore Roethke Prize and a prize from Poetry Northwest. He lives in Northern California with his wife, the photographer Patti James.