Author, social critic, avowed feminist, and teacher Camille Anna Paglia was born in Endicott, N.Y., to Pasquale and Lydia Paglia, who had immigrated to the United States from Italy. She has published Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson; Sex, Art, and American Culture; Vamps & Tramps: New Essays; The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock; and most recently Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World’s Best Poems. She is a contributing editor at Interview magazine and has written articles on art, literature, popular culture, feminism, and politics for newspapers and magazines around the world. Paglia is a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is currently at work on a new collection of essays, among other things. As Paglia asserts below, she spent five years away from the fray compiling this book of what she believes are great poems including work by Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley, Dickinson, Lowell, and Plath.