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Edward Boccia received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University. In 1958, he was awarded the Borsa di Studio from the Italian government, for study in Italy, and he was knighted to the Cavaliere al Merito della Republica by the president of Italy in 1979.

From 1951 to 1986, Boccia was professor of Fine Arts in the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, St. Louis and in 1990, St. Louis University, home to some one hundred Boccia paintings, made him a member of the Order of the Crown of King St. Louis IX.

Boccia began writing poetry in 1980. His first chapbook, Moving the Still Life, was published by Pudding House in 1993. No Matter How Good the Light Is: Poems by a Painter was published in 1998, by Time Being Books, and his other books include Answering Neruda (Pudding House, 2006) and Carlo X (Pudding House, 2008). He has received over forty awards, with prizes from the Wednesday Club of St. Louis, the World Order of Narrative Poets, Negative Capability, Blue Unicorn, Rhino, Margie, The American Journal of Poetry, and the St. Louis Writers Guild. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Eliot Review, Orbis, Live Poets Society, Poetpourri, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, and in the anthologies Graffiti Rag Anthology, Memories and Memoirs: Anthology of Missouri Poets, Long Island Sounds, The Light of City and Sea, Gems from the Past, and Cuivre River Anthology. He has given poetry readings at the Focal Point, in Maplewood, Missouri, and at the Webster Groves Public Library, in Webster Groves, Missouri.