Archive of Author | Francesca Diano

FRANCESCA DIANO was born in Rome, the daughter of the famous  philosopher and scholar of ancient Greek, Carlo Diano, professor of Greek Literature and philosophy at the University of Padova.

In 1971 she graduated in History of Art at Padua University. In the early Seventies she  lived  first in Oxford, where she did research on medieval Italian illuminated manuscripts and later for some years in London, where she taught courses on Italian Art at the Italian Institute of Culture and worked as a librarian at the Courtauld Insitute.

In 1997/98 she lectured in Italian at University College Cork, where she also held public courses on Italian contemporary art.

Since 1981  she has been a literary translator of fiction, poetry and essays for major publishers. 

She is the official Italian  translator of the best selling  Indian author  Anita Nair and of the Irish poet James Harpur.

Irish folklore and oral tradition are among  her main interests, stemming from 1973 when she was  lucky to find  in London one of the few and very rare  original copies of the  1825 first edition of T.C.Croker’s Fairy Legends .

In 1998 she was the curator for the Collins Press, Cork, of the facsimile edition of T.C.Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, the 1825 one in her possession, an edition released to celebrate the bicentenary of Croker’s birth.

Her  Italian, very successful edition of Croker’s work  was also launched at the Irish Embassy in Rome, on the personal invitation of the Ambassador.

She has lectured extensively in Italy and abroad on art, literature, translation studies,  and Irish folklore and has held summer courses of Italian art at the Perugia University for Foreigners. She also contributed articles to journals and newspapers.

She writes poetry, both in Italian and English, short stories, essays and is  of course still active as an Art critic. Her poetry has been published by leading Italian literary blogs and anthologies of Italian contemporary poets.

In 2012 she was awarded the Premio Teramo, the Italian literary prize for short stories, awarded in its long history to some of the most celebrated  Italian writers.

In 2013 she has published a short story collection, Fiabe d’amor crudele (Tales of cruel love), Edizioni La Gru.

In 2015 the Italian international poetry magazine POESIA (Crocetti Editore) published her monograph of  James Harpur, including the first Italian translation of some of his poems.

In 2016 she has released her first novel, La Strega Bianca. Un storia irlandese (The White Witch – an Irish Story). Carteggi Letterari Le Edizioni.

In 2017 she published James Harpur’s Italian translation of St Symeon Stylites (San Simeone Stilita, Proget Edizioni) and, in the same year, her poetry collection Bestiario, NeroCromo Edizioni.

She’s currently working at her second novel. 

Articles with Francesca Diano


Poetry, Sacred Art and the Book of Kells: A review of James Harpur’s ‘The White Silhouette’.

“At the heart of James Harpur’s ‘The White Silhouette’ is a meditative poem inspired by ‘The Book of Kells’, a poem that follows threads into themes such as the nature of the divine, the efficacy of sacred art, and the way of silence.”

Francesca Diano discovers in the work of a contemporary poet, James Harpur, a maze of connections that takes her on a journey through Neoplatonism to Krishnamurti and quantum mechanics.