Born in Egypt to Italian parents, he spent his childhood in Milan. From the age of 15 he has lived in Mexico City where he has written — in Spanish — three books of poetry, Lotes baldíos (which won the 1995 'Carlos Pellicer Prize'), De lunes todo el año (which won the 'Aguascalientes National Prize for Poetry' in 1991) and Alguien de lava; a book of prose, Caja de herramientas (1989), three collections of short stories, La lenta furia (1989), La vida ordenada (2000) and Grieta de fatiga (which won the 'Antonin Artaud Prize' in 2006), and two books of essays, El viaje y la enfermedad (1984) and Los pastores sin ovejas (1996). He has also written a book for children, Cuando las panteras no eran negras, which won the 'White Raven Prize' in 1997 and has translated from his mother tongue — Italian — numerous stories, poetry, essays and children's books. In 1998, he took part in a DAAD artists programme in Berlin. He wrote the story series También Berlín se olvida about this experience. In 2005 Galaxia Gutenberg published his translation of the complete poetry of Eugenio Montale.