PAOLO RUFFILLI was born in 1949 and attended the University of Bologna where he studied modern literature. After a period of teaching,
he became editor with the Garzanti publishing house in Milan, and is presently the general editor of the Edizioni del Leone in Venice. Since 1972, he has published nine volumes of poetry. Among these are Piccola colazione (1987, American Poetry Prize), Diario di Normandia (1990, Montale Prize), Camera oscura (1992), Nuvole (1995), La gioia e il lutto (2001, Prix Européen, and published as Joy and Mourning, Dedalus Press, 2004). He has also published a number of novels, including Preparativi per la partenza (2003), as well as volumes of essays and translations from English.
Recognized as one of the leading poets in Central Europe, TOMAŽ SALAMUN was born in 1941in Zagreb, Croatia and raised in Koper, Slovenia and writes in Slovenian. He is the author of 33 books and his work has appeared in dozens of languages. In addition, he has had several collections of selected poetry published in English, among them The Selected Poems of Tomaž Salamun (1988), republished as Homage to Hat and Uncle Guido and Eliot: Selected Poems (Arc Publications, 1997), The Shepherd, the Hunter (1992), The Four Questions of Melancholy (1997), Feast (2000), A Ballad for Metka Krasovic (2001) and Poker (2003). Among his honours are the Preseren Fund Prize, the Jenko Prize, a Pushcart Prize, a visiting Fulbright to Columbia University and a fellowship to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Salamun has served as Cultural Attaché to the Slovenian Embassy in New York and was a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He is married to artist Metka Krasovec, whose painting graces the cover of The Four Questions of Melancholy.
FIONA SAMPSON started professional life as a concert violinist. She was later educated at the universities of Oxford and Nijmegen, where she took a PhD in the philosophy of language. Her books include Patuvacki Dnevnik (Macedonia, 2004), Creative Writing in Health and Social Care (2004), Folding the Real (2001, Romanian edition, 2004), The Healing Word (1999), Picasso's Men (1995), two chapbooks, Birth Chart (1994) and Hotel Casino (2004), and two studies of the writing process with Celia Hunt: The Self on the Page (1998, Hebrew edition 2002) and Writing: Self and Reflexivity (2005). Translated into more than a dozen languages, her work has won numerous awards including the Zlaten Prsten of Macedonia, a Hawthornden Fellowship, the Newdigate Prize, awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales and the Society of Authors, and an AHRB Research Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts to write The Distance Between Us (2005). She is the Editor of Poetry Review as well as of Orient Express, a journal of contemporary writing from Enlargement Europe, and co-edited A Fine Line: New Poetry from East and Central Europe (2004). Her translations include Jaan Kaplinski's Evening Brings Everything Back (2004).