Born in 1928 in Turin, where he died in 2016 he is internationally known for his experimental,sound and visual poetry. Together with other authors, he founded the literary magazine “antipiugiù” (1959-1966) for experimental poetry and prose, and the magazine “modulo” (Genua, 1966), the first issue of which he edited as an international anthology of concrete poetry.
Together with the composer Enore Zaffiri and the painter Sandro de Alxandris, he founded in Turin the “Studio di Informazione Estetica” (1964), which carried on research on the interrelations between visual and sound poetry, electronic music, plastic art. For this period see the object-books “Infinito”, “Nonnulla”, “Busta Celeste”, “Cronofonemi” (1968-69). In the same period he begins the series of “Fonemi”
(sound poetry). In the year 1969, with Dietrich Mahlow, he sets up and runs the exhibition of concrete poetry at the Venice Biennale. In 1978 he published an anthology in seven LP records, “Futura, poesia sonora” (Cramps Records, Milan) with an historical-critical introduction concerning the avant-garde sound poetry.
Since 1974 he has been undertaking performances of “Gymnastic and Liquid Poetry” and a series of mimic declamations of avant-garde texts, from Futurism to Dadaism, Russian ‘Zaum’, Expressionism,
Surrealism, Lettrisme and Concretism: about 200 performances in Europe and America.
In 1978, with the actress-mime Valeria Magli and the producer Claudio Vitalone, he created the show “Futura” which was broadcast in the program “Nero su bianco” of RAI 2. In the year 1980 he ran the 13 instalments of “Colpo di Glottide” , concerning sound poetry (RAI 1).
In 1988 he published “Verbale 1987” and “Fluenti Traslati, concertazione drammatica in quattro tempi” (Flowing Metaphors, in four tempos) (Morra Editions, Naples).
In 1989 for the publisher Elytra, he edited “A history of sound poetry” in four cassette
(Elytra, series Baobab, Reggio Emilia) and in the year 2000 he published
“Light and Shadow” in collaboration with Getulio Alviani (Bulino
During the period 2000-2002 he has issued many artist-books in few copies.
For ULU LATE he writes “The word shows its body/the vicissitudes of the historical development of the visual element in poetry from the alexandrinian period to contemporary experimentalism” (2002-2010) with a glossary and lots of pictures. English version by Eleonora Vita Heger. To ULU LATE he also contributes with “Atlas” concerning visual and sound poetry.
In 2016 with Sandro de Alexandris he though seriously ill and bedridden attends to his last book “App unto” (Il Geko Edizioni Recco 2016). He will die, at home, nursed by Lou his wife, next September.
Bibliography: see Mirella Bandini, “The
theatre of the Word of Arrigo Lora-Totino”
(catalogue of the exhibition at Circolo degli Artisti, 1996, Turin Lindau
Editions, Turin, 1996) and Alessandro Amaducci, “ The Theatre of
the Word ”, video-catalogue, issued for the same exhibition; Renato Barilli Pasquale Fameli “Arrigo Lora Totino: Il poeta visivo sonoro performativo” (Campanotto Pasian di Prato Udine 2014) ; “Arrigo Lora Totino: la parola come poesia segno suono gesto 1962/1982” by Giorgio Maffei Patrizio Peterlini (Danilo Montanari Editore Ravenna 2015) and www.archiviomauriziospatola.com
Arrigo Lora Totino on sound poetry by L
A poetic colpo di glottide by Maurizio Spatola (Stampa sera 1980)