Nanni Balestrini was born in Milan in 1935 and was a member of the influential avant-garde Gruppo 63, along with Umberto Eco and Eduardo Sanguineti. He is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including Blackout and Ipocalisse, and novels such as Tristano, Vogliamo Tutto, and La Violenza Illustrata.
During the notorious mass arrests of writers and activists associated with Autonomy, which began in 1979, Balestrini was charged with membership of an armed organization and with subversive association. He went underground to avoid arrest and fled to France. As in so many other cases, no evidence was provided and he was acquitted of all the charges.
He died in Rome in 2019.