Writer / Poet


Writer / Poet


Since its inception, OH!PEN has nurtured a unique partnership with Erri De Luca Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes the philosophy of the Italian author and poet, Erri De Luca. We take pride in supporting the Foundation’s goals of social awareness and solidarity, by collaborating on a wide range of projects.



Born in Naples in 1950, Erri De Luca wrote fiction, theater, translations, poetry.

The name, Erri, is the Italian version of Harry, his uncle’s name.

At 18 he left Naples and began his political involvement in the extra-parlamentary left, which lasts up to 30 years. Ends in autumn ’80 with participation in the fight against the twenty thousand expulsions from FIAT Mirafiori in Turin.

Between ’76 and ’96 performs manual trades. Between 1983 and 1984 in Tanzania volunteer in a program dealing with the water service to some villages. During the war in the former Yugoslavia, in the 90s, he was a truck driver for humanitarian convoys. In the spring of ’99 is in Belgrade, this time alone, during the NATO bombing, to be on the side of the target. From this period dates his friendship with the poet Izet Sarajlic of Sarajevo, known during the war in Bosnia, and Ante Zemljar poet and partisan leader of the anti-Nazi war.

His first novel, “Not now, not here”, was published in Italy in 1989. His books have been translated into over 30 languages. Self-taught in Swahili, Russian, Yiddish and ancient Hebrew, translated literal method with some parts of the Old Testament.

For the cinema wrote the short film “Beyond the Glass,” “The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars” (premiered at the Rome Film Festival, winner of Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2013), the musical biography “The Musical Imprinting” and the documentary “Trees that walk “. He has translated and written in Neapolitan “La Voix Humaine” of Cocteau for his portrayal of Sophia Loren.

In theater was staged with “Through” (Mario Brunello, Gabriele Mirabassi, Marco Paolini, Gianmaria Testa); “Quixote and invincible” (Gabriele Mirabassi and Gianmaria Testa); “In the name of the mother” (Sara Cianfriglia and Simone Gandolfo); “Traveling with Aurora” (Aurora De Luca); “Chisciottimisti” (Gabriele Mirabassi and Gianmaria Testa), and “La Musica Insieme” with Nicky Nicolai and Stefano Di Battista..

Practice mountaineering. His favorite mountains are the Dolomites.

Since September 2013, charged with “incitement to commit crimes”, following public statements in support of the fight notav in Val di Susa. The process began in January 2015 is still ongoing. In his defense he published “A dissenting word.” Hundreds of public readings of his texts were organized spontaneously by its readers in Italy and abroad. The 19 October 2015 the Turin judge cleared the writer of the charge.

He lives in the Roman countryside where he planted and continues to plant trees.