Luca Traini, a far-right sympathizer who was sentenced to 12 years in jail for having seriously wounded six African migrants in a drive-by shooting in 2018, has received an award in a poetry competition in prison.
From shooting at non-white immigrants to 'avenge' the brutal murder of a young Italian woman who was killed by a Nigerian drug dealer, to a poetry competition in jail: this is the unusual path of Luca Traini, 32.
Traini, a native of the town of Tolentino near Macerata in central Italy, had been sentenced to 12 years after a shooting spree in the streets of Macerata on February 3, 2018 in which he seriously injured six African immigrants. The judges ruled he had been motivated by 'race-based-hate'.
Traini now came in third in a poetry slam on November 14 in the Barcaglione jail of Ancona, where he is serving his sentence.
Following 3rd place, possibility of regional finals
The initiative is part of a poetry workshop entitled L'Ora d'Aria ('The Hour of Fresh Air') organized by the association Nie Wiem in collaboration with the rights ombudsman for the Marche region and the Ancona town council.
The top two awards went to professional poets from Italy's Tuscan region, who are experts in poetry slams.
Traini took third, voted in by a jury of other detainees. Now he may have the possibility to take part in the regional finals of the national championships of the Italian poetry slam league, LIPS.
L'Ora d'Aria is conducted by Luigi Socci and Valerio Cuccaroni, artistic directors of the La Punta della Lingua ('The Tip of the Tongue') poetry festival, and calls for two preparatory events and then a challenge between detainees and poets with three minutes each for their own poems.
New path in jail
"Traini had taken part in a 2019 event, but at that time he was exulted. Some considered him a hero," ANSA was told by Cuccaroni.
The man he and Socci met in 2022 was different, he said. To the question of whether Traini was repentant, Cuccaroni commented, "let's say matured. Aware of the serious mistake he made."
In addition to his passion for the gym, now "it calms him to be surrounded by books. We suggested that he read Albert Camus' The Stranger."
Traini has worked hard on his free verse poetry as well, he said.
He added that his association was non-judgemental, however, and that penitentiaries are "places in which humanity is nude, suspended between Dantesque inferno and the possibility of redemption."
Cuccaroni said that he hoped an ever greater number of detainees would "study and get a degree. Those who get a degree in jail do not become repeat offenders." Meanwhile, another poetry slam will bring to an end, on Dec. 15, the L'Ora d'Aria with poets and detainees.