John Giorno was born in New York and graduated from Columbia University in 1958. Four years later, when he became part of the experimental downtown arts scene, he met Andy Warhol, who became an important influence for Giorno's developments in poetry, performance and recordings. Giorno was the subject of Warhol's first film Sleep. He has collaborated with William Burroughs, John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Mapplethorpe, and in the first decade of the 21st century , with Rirkirt Tirvanija, Pierre Huyge, Elizabeth Peyton, and Ugo Rondinone, who is his partner. Giorno is the author of 10 books, including the well-received Subduing Demons in America: Selected Poems, 1962-2007, You Got to Burn to Shine, Cancer in my Left Ball, Grasping at Emptiness, and Suicide Sutra. He has produced 59 LPs, CDs, tapes, cassettes, videopaks, and DVDs for Giorno Poetry Systems. John Giorno seeks alternative ways of writing and presenting his poetry: using the telephone (Dial-A-Poem), recordings (Giorno Poetry Systems), and multiples (poem prints). He founded the AIDS Treatment Project and is an important force in the development of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.