In 1945, Michael Palma was born in the Bronx, New York.
Palma is the author of Begin in Gladness (Star Cloud Press, 2011) and A Fortune in Gold (Gradiva Publications, 2000). He is also the author of the chapbook collections The Ghost of Congress Street: Selected Poems (The New Formalist, 2008), Antibodies (1997), and The Egg Shape (1972).
His essays, reviews, and other prose pieces have appeared in Chelsea, Shakespeare Newsletter, Italian Americana, Boston Book Review, and The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry in English. His essay “The Road to Rome, and Back Again” appeared in The Pushcart Prize XXVII (2003). In 2016 he published Faithful in My Fashion: Essays on the Translation of Poetry.
With Dana Gioia he co-edited New Italian Poets (1991), which was named one of Ten Outstanding Translations of the year by the American Literary Translators Association. His fully rhymed translation of Dante's Inferno was published by Norton in 2002 and reissued as a Norton Critical Edition in 2007. He has published translations of many other Italian poems in journals, including Paris Review, Grand Street, and Poetry, and anthologies, including The Faber Book of 20th- Century Italian Poetry, New European Poets, and The FSG Book of 20th Century Italian Poetry.
He has published eighteen books and chapbooks of translations from modern and contemporary Italian poets, including two award-winning volumes with Princeton University Press: Guido Gozzano, The Man I Pretend to Be (1981) and Diego Valeri, My Name on the Wind (1989). More recent translations include Maurizio Cucchi's Jeanne d’Arc and Her Double (2011) and No Part to Play (2013); Giovanni Raboni's Every Third Thought (2014); and Enzo Lamartora's The Autumn of Love (2018).
Palma has received numerous awards, including the Italo Calvino Award from the Translation Center of Columbia University; the Premio Speciale of the Associazione Culturale Campana of Latina, Italy; the Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize; the Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship; and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.
He has one son and lives with his wife in Bellows Falls, Vermont.