Umberto Fiori
(Italy, 1949)   
Nederlands ►
Umberto Fiori

Umberto Fiori was born in 1949 in Sarzana, a small coastal town on the border between Liguria and Tuscany. Since the age of five he has lived in Milan, where he studied philosophy. During the 1970s, he was a singer and lyric writer for the Stormy Six, a well-known Italian rock group. Later collaboration with the composer Luca Francesconi resulted in songs, two operas and a couple of pieces for orchestra and voice.

Umberto Fiori has been writing poetry since the age of twelve, although he was almost thirty before his first publication in a literary periodical. After this, he became acquainted with a number of prominent Italian writers, including Vittorio Sereni and Franco Fortini. Inspired and encouraged by them, he published his first collection, Case, in 1986. Initially, his work was not taken seriously by the critics because it did not fit in with the avant-garde, hermetic tendency of the time, but he persisted, writing comprehensible poems in clear language about everyday life in the big city. Performances with Stormy Six had accustomed him to immediate communication with an audience and he was not interested in writing poetry for “the initiated few” nor in pursuing aesthetic exercises in style, his aim being rather to write using “normal words”. “My ideal reader,” he says, “has no need to be a poetry connoisseur; he just has to want to listen to what I have to tell him.”

Fiori teaches contemporary Italian literature at the University of Milan. He makes frequent appearances both at home and abroad. Since Case he has published five collections of poetry, two collections of essays – in which he writes, among other things, about the interaction between lyrics and music – and a short novel. This year Fiori’s latest collection Voi appeared, as well as a CD of the poet singing his own lyrics to music by the guitarist Luciano Margorani.

© Ike Cialona (Translated by John Irons)

[Umberto Fiori was a guest at the 2009 Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam. This text was written for that occasion.]

Selected Bibliography

Esempi, Marcos y Marcos, Milano, 1992
Chiarimenti, Marcos y Marcos, Milano, 1995
Tutti, Marcos y Marcos, Milano, 1998
La bella vista, Marcos y Marcos, Milano, 2002
Voi, Mondadori, Milano, 2009


Subscribe to the newsletter

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us (international)  

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us (Dutch)