Accrocca, Elio Filippo 1923–1996

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Accrocca, Elio Filippo 1923–1996

PERSONAL: Born April 17, 1923, in Cori, Italy; died 1996, in Rome, Italy; son of Livio (a railway worker) and Caterina (Pistilli) Accrocca; married Adriana Tambone (a schoolteacher), June 10, 1953 (deceased, 1985); children: Stefano. Education: University of Rome, Lic., 1947.

CAREER: Poet, essayist, and educator. Accademia Bella Arti, Foggia, Italy, instructor in art history and director, until 1977; inspector of academies, 1978–82.

AWARDS, HONORS: Premio Tagliacozza, 1974, for Siamo, non siamo; Premio Internazionale Taormina, 1984, for Videogrammi della prolunga.


Portonaccio (poetry; title means "Portonaccio Street"), Scheiwiller/All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro (Milan, Italy), 1949.

Caserma, 1950 (poetry; title means "Barracks"), Canzoniere (Rome, Italy), 1951.

Reliquia umana (poetry; title means "Human Relics"), Scheiwiller/All'Insegna del Pesce d'Oro (Milan, Italy), 1955.

(Editor, with Valerio Volpini) Antologia poetica della resistenza italiana (title means "Poetry Anthology of the Italian Resistance"), Landi (Florence, Italy), 1955.

(Editor, with Livio Jannattoni) Roma all speechio nella narrative da De Amicis a Moravia, Istituto di Studi Romani (Rome, Italy), 1958.

Ritorno a Portonaccio (poetry; title means "Return to Portonaccio Street"), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1959.

Ritratti su misura de scrittori italiani, Sodalizio del Libro (Venice, Italy), 1960.

(Editor and author of introduction) Ungaretti: poesie, Nuova Accademia (Milan, Italy), 1964.

(Editor) Roma, paesaggio e poesia, Canesi (Rome, Italy), 1965.

Innestogrammi-corrispondenze (poetry), Rebellato (Padua, Italy), 1966.

(Editor, with Ferruccio Ulivi) Lirici pugliesi del Novecento, Adriatica (Bari, Italy), 1967.

(Editor) Rèpaci 70 e la cultura italiana, Costanzi (Rome, Italy), 1968.

Del guardare in faccia, ALUT (Trieste, Italy), 1968.

(Editor, with Ferrucio Ulivi) Prosatori e narratori pugliesi del Novecento, Adriatica (Bari, Italy), 1969.

Paradigma, Origine (Luxembourg), 1972.

Europa inquieta (poetry; title means "Restless Europe"), CIAS/Tormargana (Rome, Italy), 1972.

Vagabondaggi per l'Europa (poetry and prose; title means "Vagabondage in Europe"), CIAS (Rome, Italy), 1972.

Roma cosi (poetry; title means "This Is Rome"), De Luca (Rome, Italy), 1973, expanded as Roma cosi—per il Duemila, Instituto Nazionale di Studi Romani (Rome, Italy), 2000.

Due parole dall'al di qua (poetry; title means "A Few Words from the Here and Now"), Laicata (Manduria, Italy), 1973.

Siamo, non siamo (poetry; title means "We Are, We Are Not"), Rusconi (Milan, Italy), 1974.

Versi mignotti (poetry; title means "Wanton Verses"), Blocchetto (Rome, Italy), 1975.

(Editor, with Luciano Luisi) Cronaca e poesia, Servostampa (Rome, Italy), 1976.

Bicchiere di carta (poetry; title means "Paper Glass"), Quaderni di Piazza Navona (Rome, Italy), 1977.

La funzione del poeta oggi, Centro Pitré (Palermo, Italy), 1977.

Il discorrere della cose (Rome, Italy), 1978.

(Editor) L'inquietudine, System Graphic (Rome, Italy), 1980.

Il superfluo (poetry; title means "Surplus"), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1980.

Scultogrammi (Rome, Italy), 1981.

I binari di Apollinaire, Quaderni di Piazza Navona (Rome, Italy), 1982.

Pesominimo (poetry; title means "Minimal Weight"), Piovan (Abano Terme, Italy), 1983.

Treangoli, Spinello (Urbino, Italy), 1983.

Videogrammi della prolunga (poetry; title means "Videograms of Extension"), Lucarini (Rome, Italy), 1984.

Bagage, Ventaglio (Rome, Italy), 1984.

Esercizi radicali (poetry; title means "Exercises in Square Roots"), Bastogi (Foggia, Italy), 1984.

Transeuropa, Euroeditor (Luxembourg), 1984.

Copia difforme (title means "Imperfect Copy"), Giardini (Pisa, Italy), 1986.

Contromano (title means "On the Wrong Side of the Road"), Nuova Fortezza (Livorno, Italy), 1987.

Forse arrivi forse partenze (title means "Perhaps Arrivals, Perhaps Departures"), Laboratorio (Parabita, Italy), 1988.

Poesie: la distanza degli anni 1949–1987 (title means "Poetry: The Distance of the Years 1949–1987"), Newton Compton (Rome, Italy), 1988.

Lo sdraiato di pietra: poesi, 1977–1990, Newton Compton (Rome, Italy), 1991.

Un fagotta di carta, 1996.

Contributor to periodicals, including Alfabeto, Paese sera, Ipotesi, and Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno.

SIDELIGHTS: Italian poet Elio Filippo Accrocca produced more than thirty volumes of work over the course of his lifetime. He grew up in Rome and attended the University of Rome, where he studied literature. Soon afterward, Accrocca began publishing his poetry and editing other writers' works. Starting in 1960, he coedited the periodical Quaderni di Piazza Navona with Raffaello Brignetti and Franco Fano and in 1983, he founded the periodical Carte d'Europa. In addition to his extensive writing career, Accrocca taught art history at the Accademia Bella Arti.

In 1949, Accrocca published his first poetic work, Portonaccio. The poetry exemplifies the neorealist style, which favored straightforward expression of social problems and conditions. The collection, written between 1942 and 1947, demonstrates the experiences of the victims of World War II. Many scholars recognize this work as a strong example of Accrocca's budding poetic style. "A close reading of Portonaccio reveals a stylistic signature already beginning to take shape, an aspiration to achieve a personal tone that draws evocative power from a solid moral sense," wrote Achille Serrao in the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

In Caserma, 1950 and Reliquia umana, two works that followed Portonaccio, Accrocca continued to refine his neorealist approach. Caserma, 1950 is composed of poems written between 1945 and 1951 and reflects the poet's flair for colloquial speech while indicating his perception of poetry as a vehicle to illustrate the human struggle. With Reliquia umana Accrocca cast personal experience within the context of life in postwar Italy. The book largely marks the end of Accrocca's production as a neorealist artist.

Ritorno a Portonaccio features new verses as well as poems from early collections. Here Accrocca maintained his devotion to social themes but abandoned the stylistic simplicity of neorealism. He continued to experiment with a range of styles and means of expression in Innestogrammi-corrispondenze, in which he injected newspaper headlines, displayed advertisements, and even divided verse into parallel columns. Serrao wrote that "the book constitutes a technical and aesthetic turning point" for Accrocca.

Accrocca suffered a profound blow in 1973 when his eighteen-year-old son Stefano died in an automobile accident. The tragedy affected the poet's personal life and work, making writing difficult and depression chronic. In later collections, such as Siamo, non siamo and Il superfluo, Accrocca explores such themes as death and the relationship between the poet's private life and his art. F. Golffing, writing in World Literature Today, described Il superfluo as a collection of "very beautiful poems…. Accrocca writes in sinuous lines which encircle their subject rather than attacking it frontally."

Accrocca suffered another loss in 1985 when his wife died. That death, like his son's death ten years earlier, suffused his poetry with introspection. This is particularly evident in Poesie: la distanza degli anni 1949–1987, which draws from works written throughout Accrocca's career. The poet went on to publish two poetry collections in the 1990s. He died in 1996 at the age of seventy-two.



Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 128: Twentieth-Century Italian Poets, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.


World Literature Today, spring, 1981, F. Golffing, review of Il superfluo, p. 295.



Poeti del Parco Web site, (June 11, 2002).