An Italian Rootman: about his Philosophy, Poetry and Books

Self-Portrait of Landscape with Mulberry



to breath in

the hollow trunk

of a mulberry, I crossed

the threshold of adulthood

to live in a continent between

paper and bark, and to once

again plumb the landscape

with the eyes of a child,

the vibrant fire

of a wizened

Z   e   n



[Translation by Eleonora Matarrese]



fratus_balech_2016_bnTiziano Fratus (1975, Bergamo) grew up in Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria, his family vanished we he was only twenty years old, he stopped to study and began to travel. In California he met the eternal sequoias and touched the Silent Forests of Conifers, coining the concept of “Homo Radix“ (Rootman), the practice of “alberografia“ (Treegraphy) and a branch of knowledge, “dendrosofia” (Dendrosophy). Taking inspiration by what in music is called “mystic minimalism” – Alan Hovhaness, John Tavener et Arvo Part – he nurtures a daily practice of meditation in nature, writing books in prose and in verses. Among them: the novel Ogni albero è un poeta (Every Tree is a Poet – Mondadori), the guide Manuale del perfetto cercatore d’alberi (Handbook for a Perfect Tree Seeker – Feltrinelli), the exploration I giganti silenziosi (Silent Giants – Bompiani), the Trilogia delle bocche monumentali / Trilogy of Monumental Mouths (L’Italia è un bosco / Italy is a Wood, Il libro delle foreste scolpite / The Book of Carved Forests, L’Italia è un giardino / Italy is a Garden – Editori Laterza), the Diptych of Cloud Trees (Il sussurro degli alberi / The Whispering of Trees, Il sole che nessuno vede / The Sun which Nobody sees – Ediciclo). Forthcoming: Giona delle sequoie (Jonas of the Sequoias) for Bompiani.

Among his poetry collections Nuova poesia creaturale (New Creatural Poetry – Edizioni Torino Poesia), Gli scorpioni delle Langhe (Scorpions in Langhe – La vita felice), Un quaderno di radici (A Notebook of Roots – Feltrinelli), Musica per le foreste (Music for the Forests – Mondadori) and Vergine dei nidi (Virgin of the Nests – Feltrinelli). His poetry has been translated in eight languages and published in international magazines and journals; he has been selected for the international platform Versopolis that connect largest european poetry festivals. In 2010 Creaturing, a selection of his poetry, has been published in the US by Marick Press and presented across the country, in 2017 a new selection titled Eleven Root Poems has been translated and published in UK by Five Seasons Press and presented in Ledbury Poetry Festival. He’s columnist for the newspaper La Stampa and he’s living in a little village at the foot of the Italian Alps. In 2015 he was honored by Cinemambiente Festival with Acorn Prize for his Green and New Nature Literature.

>>> Tiziano Fratus – A new poetic voice in Europe – Versopolis. Where Poetry Lives
>>> Creaturing – Fratus poetry collection in the US – Marick Press in Detroit
>>> Double Skin – 5 Italian Poets and 5 Singaporean Poets – Ethos Books in Singapore
>>> Tiziano Fratus guest at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017
>>> Tiziano Fratus guest at Struga Poetry Evenings 2018


«I am a root-man. I am a man who has moved around in order to grow and forget his first set of roots. I am a man who has uprooted himself and has wandered around until he found new roots. I’m a man who has stopped in order to move ahead again. A man who has set down new roots. I’m a man who has woken up as a tree with leaves treeing themselves in the breath of the wind, picking up stories carried and conveyed by other creatures. I am a root man who finds joy and peace in his new patch. I am a man who has found his roots by travelling the world. A man constantly seeking roots. I’m a root man who circulates and attempts to establish connections and knowledge though the elements of nature, the landscape and the environment. I’m a man who turns himself into more and more of a tree in a landscape of trees that become more and more man-like. I am a root man who can barely tolerate urban pollution, its confusion, its man-races and the psychological pollution that reduces every form of knowledge to that of utility. Or worse still, to that of excellence and the establishment of a new aristocracy. I’m a man who has learnt to listen to trees, and I’m not in the least bit ashamed of this. After all, every poet is destined to turn himself into a tree. I am a root man and these notes are my acorns, my racemes, my cones, my grains



Wo Lyrik Zuhause ist. Tiziano Fratus – Publisher: Edition Aramo in Vienna
L’Italia è un giardino / Italy is a Garden – Publisher: Laterza in Rome/Bari
Il sole che nessuno vede / The Sun which Nobody sees – Publisher: Ediciclo in Portogruaro
Poèmes / Poems / Poesie – Publisher: La Traductière in Paris

Vergine dei nidi. poesie creaturali / Virgin of the Nests. Creatural poems – Publisher: Feltrinelli in Milan
Eleven root poems / Undici poesie radice – Publisher: Five Seasons Press in Hereford
I giganti silenziosi / Silent Giants – Publisher: Bompiani in Milan
Manuale del perfetto cercatore d’alberi (a new edition) – Publisher: Feltrinelli in Milan
Il bosco è un mondo / Wood is a World (Essay) – Publisher: Einaudi in Turin

– Waldo Basilius (a gothic fairy-tale) – Publisher: Pelledoca in Milan
Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies. Italy and the Environmental Humanities – Publisher: University of Virginia Press in Charlottesville


– Giona delle sequoie / Jonas of the Sequoias (A dendrophilosophic travel) – Publisher: Bompiani in Milan


Tiziano Fratus ha been invited by national and international Festivals (Singapore Writers Festival, Comedie du Livre in Montpellier, Literatur und Wein in Krems – Osterreich, Druskininkai Poetic Fall in Lithuania, Turin Book Fair, Genoa International Poetry Festival, Ars Poetica Bratislava, Poestate Lugano, Bookcity Milan, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Firenze Book Fair, Rome Ritratti di Poesia Festival, Milan Tempo di Libri, Torino Spiritualità, Goran’s Spring in Zagreb, Struga Poetry Evenings), Italian Institutes of Culture (Singapore, Chicago, Lisbon, Marsille, Amsterdam, Lugano, Edimburgh), Universities (Columbia – New York, Vermont – Burlington, Illinois – Chicago, State University – San Diego, Statale – Torino), cultural centres (Book Center – Minneapolis, Casa Fernando Pessoa – Lisbon, Felix Kulpa Art Gallery – Santa Crux, Jersey Arts Centre – Jersey), botanical gardens and parks.



  1. Bravo! I am delighted to discover your website and your achievements, Tiziano Fratus!

    I am a poet and novelist from Cape Town, South Africa, and a literary/cultural historian with a particular interest in the discourses about the Cape as ‘Mediterranean’ from the early twentieth century, and histories of landscape, botany, horticulture and good architecture.

    My novels are about a sangoma (a South African indigenous shaman) and his healing mission. The next one I am calling ‘The World Ash: more tales from the shaman’s record’, and it will be all about trees. The main character will be a ‘green man’ from the Cotswolds in England who undertakes a great journey down through Europe, the Levant, and Africa to the Cape to explore the condition of the axis mundi or the world tree. The finale will take place in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain, in Cape Town.

    My task is to gather much information on tree mythology and timber lore, as well as real descriptions of forests and woodlands. I thank you for your work, and I will purchase a copy of Homo Radix/Root Man. I know Latin but my Italian is very poor.

    with all good wishes!
    Peter Merrington, Cape Town

    Mi piace

  2. Dear Peter,
    thank you very much for your words.
    The architecture of your next novel seems to me very interesting, I read a lot about Kirstenbosch B.G. Are you considering to embrace big Baobab Trees? Your country guest biggest specimens of the world…

    Good wishes


    Mi piace

  3. Dear Tiziano,

    Yes, I certainly intend to have the Baobab trees, as well as the quiver trees that are indigenous to the Northern Cape and which are similar – also called the ‘upside-down trees’ because they look like people that are planted head-first into the ground with two legs sticking up. And the great variety of Cape mountain trees that are only now beginning to return, to re-establish themselves properly, slow-growing, in the ravines of Table Mountain.

    En route through Europe I will include a visit, in the narrative, to legendary sites such as the Teutoberger Wald and the Black Forest. I expect I will seek much material via Google, since I cannot travel again for some time.

    best wishes

    Mi piace

  4. Upside-down Trees… I will do a research on them… Consider to visit some of our legendary Big Trees in Italy, we have a huge natural and monumental heritage, here in my region, the Piedmont, and here in this country.

    Best wishes


    Mi piace

  5. Hi Tiziano. I am very happy to see you following ‘Jamoroki’. I’d love to know what attracted you. I must say at first glance your blog looks very interesting and certainly out of the ordinary. I must take some time to study. Keep well. James

    Mi piace


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