November 1, 2016

Paul Violi

Paul Violi [1944-2011]

Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Paul Violi received a BA in English from Boston University before serving in the Peace Corps in Nigeria from 1966-1967.

      For many years Violi worked as a teacher and editor, serving managing editor of Architectural Forum, and working for a while as an assistant to Buckminster Fuller. He also worked with the artist Dale Devereux Barker. He taught at New York University, Columbia University, The New School, and elsewhere.
     Associated with the second generation of the New York School poets, Violi was the co-founder of Swollen Magpie Press.
     The first of his several collections of poetry was Waterworks (1972), followed by In Baltic Circles (1973, reprinted in 2011); Harmatan (1977, based on notes of his Nigerian stay), Breakers: Selected Poems (2000), and Overnight (2007), among others. His poems also appeared in numerous anthologies over the years.
     In 2002 he published a collection of prose, Selected Accidents, Pointless Anecdotes, published by Hanging Loose Press.
     Violi was honored with the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry, the Ingram Merrill Foundation Poetry Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
     He died of cancer in 2011, at age 66.


Waterworks (Iowa City: Toothpaste Press, 1972); In Baltic Circles (New York: Kulchur Foundation Press, 1973; reprinted by New York: H_NGM_N Books, 2011); Some Poems (New York: Swollen Magpie Press, 1976); Harmatan (New York: Sun Press, 1977); American Express (Ipswich, United Kingdom: Joe Soap’s Canoe Publications, 1981); Splurge (New York: Sun Press, 1982); Likewise (New York: Hanging Loose Press, 1988), The Curious Building (New York: Hanging Loose Press, 1993); The Anamorphoses [with Dale Devereux Barker] (Melbourne: Pataphysics Series, 1995); Fracas (New York: Hanging Loose Press, 1998); Breakers: Selected Longer Poems (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2000); Overnight (New York: Hanging Loose Press, 2007); The Tame Magpie (New York: Hanging Loose Press, 2014)

For a review of The Tame Magpie, “‘Reckless sympathy, scorn’: Paul Violi’s Last Poems” by Barry Schwabsky in Hyperallegic Weekend, go here:


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