A literary critic, poet and narrator, Paolo Valesio was born in Bologna, studied at that university, then moved to the United States where he continued his studies and research at Harvard University, New York University, and Yale University. He taught at the latter institution for a quarter-century, and recently moved to Columbia University where he is currently the Giuseppe Ungaretti Professor in Italian Literature, and Chair of the Department of Italian.
Paolo Valesio's areas of teaching and research include Italian literature from the 19th to the 21st century in a comparative context, rhetoric in its connection with literary analysis and with spirituality, and the theory and practice of writing.
He founded and directed the journal YALE ITALIAN POETRY (YIP) which is now published at Columbia University by the Department of Italian and the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America with the new title of ITALIAN POETRY REVIEW.
The author of numerous critical essays and articles, Valesio has also published five books of criticism, sixteen collections of poetry, two novels, one collection of short stories, and a novella. His drama in verse, SON OF MAN AT CORCOVADO, has been staged in Italy.