Cappello won the 2010 Viareggio-Rèpaci prize for poetry with his collection Mandate a dire all'imperatore. His other prizes include the Premio Montale for Dittico (Liboà editore in Dogliani, 2004), the Premio Bagutta and Premio Nazionale Letterario Pisa for Assetto di volo (Crocetti Editore, Milan 2006) and the Premio Terzani for his prose work, Questa libertà. In 2013 BUR Rizzoli published his selected poems in the volume Azzurro elementare. Poesie 1992-2010, and, in 2017, a group of thirty new poems, Stato di quiete. English translations of his work have appeared in Poetry, PN Review, AGNI, Asymptote, Narrative Magazine, and several other journals, and were awarded the 2015 Raiziss de/Palchi Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets.
Cappello and his family were victims of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck northern Italy on May 6, 1976. As a result, the family was relocated to a prefab community provided by Austria, where Cappello remained for most of his life. At age sixteen he suffered a tragic motorbike crash, which left him permanently confined to a wheelchair.
In 2014 Cappello was named a beneficiary of the Legge Bachelli—a guarantee of lifetime financial support from the Italian government for artists of merit.
- Colin, Gianluigi (9 August 2010). "Sono un poeta fragile. Ma libero" [I am a poet fragile. But free]. Corriere Della Sera (in Italian).
- Gavagnin, G (2003/2004). "Gli scrittori e la norma: intervistea Raffaello Baldini, Pierluigi Cappello, Luciano Cecchinel, Amedeo Giacominie Ida Vallerugo" (PDF). Quaderns d’Italià (8/9): 123–132. Check date values in:
- Johnson, John R.L. (2001). "The Social Context of Literary Production in Post-War Friuli: Authors, Readers, and the Transformation of the Cultural Fieldn". Italian Culture. 19.
- "Al Viareggio targato Einaudi Lagioia batte Lilin per 2 voti". La Repubblica. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
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