Barolini, Helen, 1925-....

Alternative names
Birth 1925-11-18
English, Italian

Biographical notes:

Writer and translator, Helen Frances Mollica Barolini was born in Syracuse, N.Y., has a B.A. from Syracuse and a M.L.S. from Columbia, and attended a number of universities in Europe. She married Antonio Barolini, Italian author and correspondent, had three daughters, and lived in Italy in the late 1960s. She has published a novel, two volumes of poetry, and an anthology of writings by Italian American women, as well as essays, reviews, and fiction in many periodicals.

From the description of Papers, 1947-1983 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232008067

Italian American author, translator, and teacher.

From the description of Helen Barolini collection, 1989-1997. (Boston University). WorldCat record id: 70969890

Helen Barolini is an award-winning American poet, novelist and essayist; she has also been an editor and teacher.

Ms. Barolini was born November 18, 1925, in Syracuse, NY to Italian-American parents (her father was a local merchant). She received an A.B. (magna cum laude) from Syracuse University in 1947 and an M.L.S. from Columbia University in 1959. In 1950, she married Antonio Barolini (also a writer) with whom she had three children.

Ms. Barolini has been a translator and freelance writer since 1948. In 1965 she was awarded a Yaddo fellowship, and was named a MacDowell Colony fellow in 1974. In 1970, she received the Marina-Velca Journalism Prize, Ente Provinciale Turismo (Viterbo, Italy) for "Etruscan Places Today." She has also received a National Endowment for the Arts grant (1976) and for The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writing by Italian-American Women she was awarded both an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation (1986) and the Susan Koppelman Award from the American Culture Association (1987). She was a Rockefeller Foundation resident scholar at Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy (1991); writer-in-residence at Elmira College's Quarry Farm Center (1989); and visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, 2001. The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States gave her their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

She has also held a number of other positions including teacher of oral history for an adult education program in Dobbs Ferry, NY (1976); teacher at Trinity College in Hartford, CT (1971-1973), at Kirkland College in Clinton, NY (1974-1975), and at Westchester Community College in Westchester, NY (1988); associate editor for Westchester Illustrated in Westchester, NY (1975-1978); librarian in Westchester, NY from 1984-1991; and lecturer at Pace University in 1990.

"My husband was Italian. I lived in Italy for over ten years, and one of my daughters was born there. Much of my writing reflects the Italian influence in my life, which is strong, fundamental, and abiding. It has also put into proper perspective my own Italian-American background...I am especially proud of having compiled and written a long introduction to an anthology of writings by Italian-American women [ The Dream Book ], and thus given voice and presence to a whole segment of American literature which had never been perceived before." Source: Contemporary Authors Online , Gale, 2002.

From the guide to the Helen Barolini Papers, 1925-2006, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


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  • Italian Americans--Social life and customs
  • Ethnic groups in literature
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • American literature--Women authors
  • Italian American women--Intellectual life
  • Italian American authors
  • Italian Americans in literature
  • Italian American literature--Women authors
  • Italian American literature--20th century
  • Group identity in literature
  • American literature--20th century
  • Italian Americans
  • American literature--Italian influences
  • Italian American women authors
  • Ethnicity in literature
  • American literature--Authors


  • Women authors, American
  • Authors
  • Translator


  • Italy (as recorded)