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Daisy Aldan


Daisy Aldan (1918–2001) was a Pulitzer-nominated poet and highly regarded translator and teacher. She was also an anthroposophist and a teacher at Emerson College in the UK. Her earliest book of poems was published in 1946, followed by The Destruction of Cathedrals and Other Poems in 1963, with a preface by Anaïs Nin, whom Aldan had met in 1959. Seven: Seven (Poems and Photographs) was published in 1965. During the 1970s, she published seven books of experimental and lyrical poetry.

Her nonfiction and prose works focus on the topic of poetry and consciousness. In 1979, she published her novella, A Golden Story.

Aldan also edited important poetry magazines, including Folder Magazine of Literature and Art (1953–1959) and, from 1961 to 1962, the magazine Two Cities (coedited with Anaïs Nin, and so named because it was based in New York and Paris). She also edited and published translations of works by Stephane Mallarmé, Anaïs Nin, Albert Steffen, and Rudolf Steiner.

Aldan founded Tiber Press in 1953, publishing her own work and that of poets and artists who are today household names, including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Jackson Pollock.

Writing and publishing were insufficiently lucrative, so to support herself Aldan worked as a teacher at New York’s High School of Art and Design, from which she retired in 1973 to devote herself to writing. An article in the New York Times Book Review compared Aldan to e.e. cummings for “combining daring technique with sentimental conception”—a quality that evolved into spiritualism informed by her study of Rudolf Steiner, with the result that her later work failed to engage the avant-garde audience that she had originally attracted.

Daisy Aldan passed away at Kateri Residence in New York City at 82, followed by a service at The Christian Community.

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