Laura Accerboni

- Italy -

Laura Accerboni was born in Genoa in 1985.

She has published three poetry collections: Acqua acqua fuoco (Einaudi, 2020), La parte dell’annegato (Nottetempo, 2016; Eloisa Cartonera, 2019) and Attorno a ciò che non è stato (Edizioni del Leone, 2010) .

Her poems have been published in several Italian and international magazines, among which Nuova corrente, Poesia, Steve, Capoverso, Italian Poetry Rewiew, Gradiva, Loch Raven Review, and Kluger Hans.

Laura is the recipient of many literary awards, notably the Lerici Pea giovani (1996), Piero Alinari (2011) and Achille Marazza Opera Prima (2012).  Her poems have been translated in several languages and she has been an invited poet to international festivals, such as Poetry International Rotterdam (the Netherlands); Felix Poetry Festival (Belgium); Struga Poetry Evenings (Macedonia), Poetas D(in)versos (A Coruña, Spain), Festival Babel de littérature et traduction, Chiasso Letteraria, Internationales Literatur Festival Leukerbad and Poestate (all of which in Switzerland), Poetry on the Road(Germany), and 10Tal / The Stockholm Poetry Festival (Sweden).

In 2017, she presented her research work to the Universities of Cork and Dublin.

She is one of the founders of the transnational literary agency Linguafranca.

After ‘Attorno a ciò che non è stato’ (Edizioni del Leone, 2010), with ‘Playing the drowned’ Laura Accerboni accomplishes the preconditions indicated in that volume.

A poor almost aphasic verse takes shape, describing and suggesting the violent universe that gives substance to her poetic matter. As a counter melody, this aphasia is an empty artifice that allows the author to give to her internal hell an instant frightful simplicity. Laura Accerboni just records, without emphasizing the dramatic side of the emotions. Her poetry, the intimate and the civil one, accompanies us to the dawn of a unidirectional apocalypse, resounding the brief dry poetry of Gunther Eich.

We are astonished reading the young poet sculpting short verses with such a stylistic knowledge, so that she can throw the topics (massacres, slaughters, oppressions, conflicts) creating a shocking experience. At this point, the critic can just complete his personal anthology of the poems that have most unsettled him. Laura Accerboni would not care about it, as she just goes on, detail after detail, playing the drowned, using a common language suddenly becoming unknown. The poet, as a modern Woyzeck, was able to plant nails in her hands, she is now a steady person: she glued the reader to her internal world, she hypnotized him.

(Marco Ercolani translation by Annalisa Carlevaro)


At first sight Accerboni’s (Italy, 1985) poems seem to be sober analyses of states of mind; mere observations. In reality, though, it is the unemotional tone that serves to heighten the dramatic effect of her work. The human condition on the dissecting table of the mind.

Laura Accerboni is an observer. Her work is known to be as cool as it is lucid: she writes texts filled with bizarre occurrences that are reported in a subtle, controlled manner. It’s not surprising that Accerboni is not only known as a poet, but also a recognized photographer; her work was shown in several solo and group exhibitions in Italy. In her photographical tribute to Italo Calvino a capricious, stylized and attentive way of seeing is discernible - a gaze that is also apparent in her poems.

Accerboni was born in 1985 in Genoa, where she studied Modern literature. She currently lives in Lugano. Her first book of poems, Attorno a ciò che non è stato (Around that what she was not) was published in 2010. It was hailed as a remarkable debut and was lauded with several prizes, such as the Achille Marazza Prize in 2012. Her second book La parte dell’annegato (The play of the drowning)was published in 2015.


In these books Accerboni creates a bizarre, sadistic universe of massacres, mass-murder and extreme violence. Contrary to her dramatic themes, her writing style is very sober. Her poems consist of short, calculated sentences that do not attribute to the pathos of her worldview, but register events in a non-emotional way. The compact lines tear through the intense images like bullets. This fusion of extreme stylistic modesty and powerful imagery produces fast and menacing poetics - poems that display their accurate vision, without ever showing everything that could have been seen. 


Besides poet and photographer, Laura Accerboni is the editor of the literary journal Steve. She has translated the poetry of American writer Taje Silverman with Elio Grasso. Her poems were published in numerous journals, of which Italian Poetry RewiewPoesiaSpecchio della StampaGradivaSteve en Loch Raven Review are a few examples.


© Lodewijk Verduin, Circolo dei Viaggiatori nel Tempo




Attorno a ciò che non è stato, Edizioni del Leone, 2010.

La parte dell’annegato, Nottetempo, 2015.