PAUL GRILLO (b. 1943, Cancer/Aries Moon, Aries Ascendant) spent his early years shuttling between "mean street acappella corner stores" and "darkstar Jesuit study halls". While other kids were skimming comic books and the Saturday matinee, he was memorizing Avedon photos of China Machado in late 50's Vogue and falling in love with foreign films.
After seeing Marcel Camus' "Black Orpheus" (1959), he decided to become a poet, and his first poems were published when he was still in his teens. His undergraduate and graduate studies included Comparative Literature, Art History, and The Poetics of Mysticism. From the late 1960's through the 70's he devoted most of his talents to teaching Creative Writing in the inner city , and connecting with many of the major avant-garde artists of the time (including Gerard Malanga, Charles Plymell, Ira Cohen, & Charles Henri Ford), and his first experiments in photo-collage date approximately from this time.
Although Grillo has called the 1980's a period of "domestic obscurity", he was, nevertheless, expansively active throughout the decade. ..connecting with a wide circle of multi-cultural artists, writers, & musicians. ..teaching, making poems & collages, and exploring with his camera.
An acknowledged disciple of the International Surrealist Tradition, Grillo's collages are "painterly dreamscapes" deeply infused with alchemical images from distant cultures, jazz, rock'n'roll, old films, and haute couture. His collage art has been widely exhibited and is part of many important private collections.
He has published poems & collages in countless magazines in both the USA and Europe, and is the author of five books, including Manhattan Spiritual (with Guy Beining, 1976), Vibes of the Saints (1977), and Skin of Doubt (1978). Several all-new collections of his poetry, including Burnt Sienna and The Owlette Diaries stand ready for publication. He is also well known for his many dynamic readings & performances of his work.
Grillo spent much of the 1990's as a part-time commuting resident of Montreal, whose charmed vistas and enchanting characters provided new fuel for his work (as documented in Agents of a Silenced Life: The Kebec Poems 1989-1999).
He currently teaches English and coordinates the academic program of a prestigious Philadelphia area art school. With his French-Canadian wife Anita-Rose, he lives "in psychic transit" somewhere between the Jersey shore, his native Philadelphia and La Belle .Provence.
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger picture
"An Assignation with Mesmer"
"By the Sea of Tranquility"
"Father Goose - Mama Foufou"
"The Green Egg / Ira Cohen's New York"
"Casino de Mont"
"In the Year of Disraeli Gears"
"If Winter Comes... the Eyes of March"
"Journal of the Plague Year"
"Moment of Truth"
"The Gifts of the Forsaken"
"Secrets of the Papal Archives"
"Some Other Spring"
"The Fate of the First Expedition"
"The Exorcism of a Military Family"
"O! Them Golden Slippers"
"The Early Excursions of Gundy & Crown"
"The Bloomsbury Caper"
"Prairie Moon / Memory Store"