an idea of poetry and music

by Valerio Piccolo




The concept album POETRY (released under this title in Italy in March 2014) is a project that combines poetry and music.

Nine American poets/novelists/singer-songwriterswrote nine poems that Valerio Piccolo put to music turning them into songs.

A musical journey that narrates and presents – through song – North American poetry written by the most influential voices of our times. Not just “affirmed” poets, but also novelists and musicians with “an itch” for writing verse.



Novelists Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody and Ben Greenman, poets Sarah Manguso and Meghan O’Rourke, and singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega are among the distinguished artists who adhered to the project. Everyone took an active part working with Valerio to adapt the poems to music.


Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vegais an American songwriter and singer known for her eclectic folk-inspired music. Two of Vega's songs (both from her second album Solitude Standing, 1987) reached the top 10 of various international chart listings: "Luka” and "Tom’s Diner”. Vega has released eight studio albums to date, the latest of which is Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles, released in 2014.

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethemis an American novelist, essayist and short story writer. His first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, a genre work that mixed elements of science fiction and detective fiction, was published in 1994. It was followed by three more science fiction novels. In 1999, Lethem published Motherless Brooklyn, a National Book Critics Award-winning novel that achieved mainstream success. In 2003, he published The Fortress of Solitude, which became a New York Times Best Seller. In 2009 he wrote Chronic City, a novelnamed to the New York Times 10 best books of the year list.

Rick Moody 

Rick Moody is an American novelist and short story writer best known for the 1994 novel The Ice Storm, a chronicle of the dissolution of two suburban Connecticut families over Thanksgiving weekend in 1973, which brought widespread acclaim, became a bestseller, and was made into a feature film of the same title by famous director Ang Lee. Many of his works have been praised by fellow writers and critics alike, and in 1999 The New Yorker chose him as one of America's most talented young writers, listing him on their "20 Writers for the 21st Century" list.

Ben Greenman

Ben Greenman is an editor at The New Yorker and the author of the underground indie hits Please Step Back, Superbad, and A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both. His short fiction and music criticism has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Paris Review, and he writes a regular comedy column for McSweeney's.

Meghan O’ Rourke

An American poet and critic, O'Rourke was formerly a fiction editor at The New Yorker and from 2005-2010 was poetry co-editor at The Paris Review. She is also an occasional contributor to The New York Times. O'Rourke has written on a wide and eclectic range of topics, including horse racing, gender bias in the literary world, the politics of marriage and divorce, and the place of grief and mourning in modern society. She has published poems in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, Best American Poetry, The New Republic, and Poetry.

Sarah Manguso

Sarah Manguso is an American writer and poet. In 2007, she was awarded the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Fellowship in literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her memoir The Two Kinds of Decay (2008), was reviewed by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and named a 2008 "Best Nonfiction Book of the Year" by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn is an American writer, playwright, and poet. His most recent publication is The Reenactments, which chronicles Flynn's experience during the making of Being Flynn, a film based on his acclaimed 2004 memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Flynn is also the author of three collections of poetry, including Some Ether, which won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Ostrweil Award for Poetry in 1999, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Kevin Young

Kevin Young is an American poet and teacher of poetry. Young is the author of Most Way Home, To Repel Ghosts, Jelly Roll, Black Maria, For The Confederate Dead, Dear Darkness, and editor of Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers, Blues Poems, Jazz Poems, and John Berryman's Selected Poems. His poem "Black Cat Blues," was included in The Best American Poetry 2005. Young's poetry has also appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review; Ploughshares, and other literary magazines. His 2003 book of poems Jelly Roll was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Dean Young

Dean Young is a contemporary American poet. He was awarded the Colorado Prize for Poetry for Strike Anywhere, has received a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and has been awarded fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2002) as well as from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His work has been included in The Best American Poetry anthology multiple times, dating back to 1993. Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.




The album was produced by Massimo Roccaforte (guitar player and producer for Carmen Consoli, one of the most famous Italian singer-songwriters) in which he also plays with Valerio Piccolo, the Costa brothers (violin and cello with the Italian cult band Quintorigo), and other highly regarded Italian and American musicians including Mike Visceglia, bass player and musical director for Suzanne Vega for 25 years and producer of Valerio Piccolo’s first album, Manhattan Sessions.



Almost all of the songs on the album are part of a theatrical production written by Italian author Francesca Zanni, currently in preproduction in collaboration with the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York, directed by David Van Asselt.TRACK LIST

1. ouverture
2. pioggia di stelle
3. ordine
(feat. serena ciacci)
4. chiacchiere da bar
5. aspetto
6. maledizione
(con neri marcorè)
7. il guardiano del faro
8. il barman all'inferno
9. sottozero