Valerio Magrelli was born in Rome in 1957. Among many other awards for his poems, he has won the Mondello Prize (1980), the Viareggio (1987), the Montale Prize (2002) and the Feltrinelli Prize (2002) and the Cetona Prize (2007). A lecturer on French literature at the University of Cassino, he has also published critical works on Dadaism, on Paul Valery and Joseph Joubert, as well as notable translations of Mallarme, Valery, Jarry, Char and Ponge. He is also the author of two plays and one collection of short prose pieces, Nel condominio della carne, a poignant, often witty meditation on his own body and the ills it is heir and host to. He is currently working on a critical study of Baudelaire.
Jamie McKendrick was born in Liverpool in 1955. He taught at the University of Salerno in Italy and is the author of five collections of poetry: The Sirocco Room (1991); The Kiosk on the Brink (1993); The Marble Fly (1997), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and a Poetry Book Society Choice; Ink Stone (2003), which was shortlisted for the 2003 T. S. Eliot Prize and the 2003 Whitbread Poetry Award; and Crocodiles & Obelisks, shortlisted for the Forward Prize. A selection of his poems was published as Sky Nails (2000), and he is editor of The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems (2004).