Born in Milan in 1934, Giulia Niccolai is the daughter of an Italian father and an American mother, and grew up in both Italy and the United States. During the 1950s, she began working as a photojournalist for various Italian, European and American publications, including Life, Paris Match and Der Spiegel. In the late 1960s, she quit professional photography to focus on writing. She was a member of the neo-avant-garde group of writers, Gruppo 63, and published her novel Il grande angolo [“Wide Angle”] in 1966. She produced her first book of poetry Humpty Dumpty, written in English, in 1969. In 1970, with Adriano Spatola, she founded the internationally known poetry journal, Tam Tam.
She has also published several collections of visual poetry, starting with Poema & Oggetto, 1974. During the 1980s, she became interested in Eastern philosophy, spending time in Japan and becoming a Buddhist nun in 1990. In 1994, her collection of poems Frisbees--Poesie da lanciare won the Premio Feronia, and in 2017 received the Premio Nazionale Elio Pagliarani for “Lifetime Achievement.” Her most recent collection of poems, Publico & privato, was published by Edizioni Galleria Mazzoli in 2017. Niccolai has also translated the works of American and English writers, such as Lewis Carroll and Gertrude Stein into Italian.
Tags: Giulia Niccolai, Italy, Life, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Adriano Spatola, Gruppo 63, Premio Nazionale Elio Pagliarani, Gertrude Stein, Publico & privato, Edizioni Galleria Mazzoli, Il grande angolo, TamTam