Let us introduce Mary Melfi, an accomplished writer, by way of a simple question: in Canada, who establishes the literary canon? Is it a simple exercise of power? For as the essays in this collection will demonstrate, Melfi's work is not only - to use those hanging definitions - a work of excellence, it is so remarkably well developed in all genres from poetry to the novel, to the play, to the modern fairy tale that it deserves a recognition that has been late in coming. Melfi's work achieves importance by bringing into play displacement, irony, ethnicity, class and gender - for being both of the times and outside of time. This is what we ask of our artists - not to be ideologically compatible, but to be critically endowed. That Melfi is not more widely known in the Canadian literary field causes us to muse about the sociopolitical diktats that still marginalise a body of work of international stature. The contributors are Domenico D'Alessandro, William Anselmi, Lise Hogan, Francesco Loriggio, Eva Karpinski, and Marino Tuzi.