SALVATORE QUASIMODO was born of Sicilian parents in Modica, near Syracuse, in 1901. Interested in becoming an engineer, he enrolled at the Politecnico in Rome, also studying Latin and Greek at the University there but did not complete his studies. He obtained a position with the Italian government's civil engineering corps, and in 1930, saw the publication of three poems in the avant-garde magazine 'Solaria', and then his first full-length collection, 'Acque e terre' (Waters and Lands). Two years later, his second collection, 'Oboe sommerso' (Sunken Oboe) appeared.In 1938, he left his government position and became editor of the weekly magazine, 'Tempo'; three years later was appointed to the Chair of Italian Literature at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. An outspoken anti-Fascist during the Second World War, and for a while a member of the Communist Party, he published three collections during the 1940s: 'Nuove Poesie' (New Poems), 1942; 'Giorno dopogiorno' (Day after Day), 1946, and 'La vita non e sogno' (Life Is Not a Dream), 1949. He also became known as a translator - of the Greek and Roman lyric and epic poets (Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Ovid and Virgil among them), Shakespeare, Moliere and twentieth-century writers such as Neruda and e.e. cummings. Quasimodo was awarded the Etna-Taormina International Prize in Poetry along with Dylan Thomas in 1953 and, in 1959, the Nobel Prize for literature - "for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times". His last book of verse was 'Dare e avere' (To Give and To Have), 1966. Quasimodo died in Naples on 14 June 1968.MARCO SONZOGNI was born in Mortara, Italy, in 1971. He holds degrees from the University of Pavia, Almo Collegio Borro-meo; the National University of Ireland, Dublin; the University of Dublin, Trinity College and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where he is a Lecturer in Italian. He is a published critic, reviewer and literary translator. His first collection of poems and translations, 'Assenze', was published in 2005; his second book, 'E com'e', will appear in 2008. A recipient of research grants and fellowships, he is currently working on translating New Zealand Literature into Italian (Katherine Mansfield and Bill Manhire), on the first editions of James Joyce's works in New Zealand and on a comparative study of the book covers of the Italian and foreign editions of Umberto Eco's 'Il nome della rosa'. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand. GERALD DAWE was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1952. His first book of poems, 'Sheltering Places', was published in 1978. It was followed by 'The Lundys Letter', 'Sunday School', 'Heart of Hearts', 'The Morning Train' and 'Lake Geneva'. He has also published 'The Proper Word: Collected Criticism', and 'My Mother-City & Bit Parts', as well as editing various anthologies of Irish poetry and criticism. Dawe has taught at NUI, Galway, Thomond College, University of Limerick and at Boston College where he was the Burns Visiting Professor. He is a fellow of Trinity College Dublin. A recipient of the Macaulay Fellowship in Literature, a Ledig-Rowohlt Fondation Award, a Hawthornden International Writers' Fellowship and literature awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, he has given readings and lectures in many parts of the world. He lives in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.