|Di Prima reads from her first book,
"This Kind of Bird Flies Backwards" in 1959
In an often-repeated anecdote from her 2001 memoir Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years, Di Prima recalls being at a "boozy, marijuana-filled party one night in New York" with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and when she announced she needed to leave at 11:30 p.m. to relieve her babysitter, Kerouac shouted, “DI PRIMA, UNLESS YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR BABYSITTER, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BE A WRITER."
The actress who played Don Draper's Greenwich Village girlfriend in TV's "Mad Men" read Di Prima's Memoirs of a Beatnik (1969) in preparation for the role. As quoted in Sisters of the Extreme, Di Prima wrote in Memoirs: "As far as we knew, there was only a small handful of us—perhaps forty or fifty in the City (NY)—who knew what we knew; who raced about in Levis and work shirts, smoked dope, dug the new jazz, and spoke a bastardization of the Black argot.....Our chief concern was to keep our integrity...and to keep our cool."
High, not dulled with the wines of earth.