Gaspara Stampa (1523?–1554) has long been regarded as one of the finest and most creative poets of the Italian Renaissance. Writing in a period that witnessed a surge in women writers, her contemporaries praised her as among the most distinguished female voices in Venice, if not in all of Italy. As a virtuosa, her singing voice was so celebrated that Gerolamo Parabosco, the organist of St. Mark’s Basilica, described it as “angelic”: “who has ever heard such sweet and elegant words … and what will I say of that angelic voice that struck the air with its divine accents and made such sweet harmony that it awakened spirit and life in the coldest stone?”1 In a similar way, Perissone Cambio, a composer and celebrated singer himself, described her as a “divine siren.” Indeed, Cambio dedicated his book Primo libro di madrigal a quatro voci (1547) to Gaspara Stampa writing her that “no woman loves music as much as you do, nor possesses it of such a rare degree.”2 The numerous figures to whom Stampa wrote verses were themselves part of Venice’s rich and lively musical circles-Girolamo Molin, Elena Barozzi, Domenico Venier, and Fortunio Spira, to name but a few-something that testifies to Stampa’s deep involvement in the musical life of the city.3 Although Stampa often sang verses by contemporary poets, she was, perhaps, most famous for both her interpretations of Petrarch, and her own Petrarchan-inspired poetry, believed to have been written for real performances. It was in fact Stampa’s capacity to be taken seriously as a singer and performer that contributed to the acceptance of her public voice as a poet.4