Lecturer, Creative Writing Program
University of Pennsylvania College for Women Graduate, 1953
Diana Cavallo, novelist, teacher, playwrite, monologue writer and performer, passed away on June 17, 2017 in Springfield. She taught fiction writing in the Creative Writing Program of the English Department at The University of Pennsylvania, from where she was graduated after being awarded a scholarship from Upper Darby High School.
At public events at The University she was often invited to introduce popular novelists who were former students in her class. Her play, “Two Sisters,” won first prize in a contest sponsored by The Ethical Society of Philadelphia and was preformed there to a large and appreciative audience. Her first book, “A Bridge of Leaves,” published by Atheneum Press, was written during her tenure as a Fulbright Scholar in Florence, Italy. While living in New York for more than a decade she taught English at The Italian School, a venue for the children of Italian diplomats.
Ms. Cavallo wrote many fictionalized essays about her Italian neighborhood in South Philadelphia where she grew up until her family moved to Upper Darby when she was a teenager. She performed these as monologues in many stages in the city, particularly at The Italian Society in South Philadelphia.
She was predeceased by her husband, the artist Karl Hagedorn, and will be sadly missed by her devoted niece, Linda Smyth and many friends and colleagues.