Written when Ms. Bortolani was fifteen years old, The Siege (L'assedio) is driven by a brazen, exuberant voice and a linguistic acrobatics not unlike that of the most celebrated European teen prodigy poet-Arthur Rimbaud. Phantasmagorical and surreal, the poems move us through the chameleon-shadings of lust and love. Ljuba Merlina Bortolani was born in Bologna in November 1980. She is the author of three poetic sequences. She is a student at the University of Bologna. Michael Palma is a world-renown, prize-winning translator of Italian poetry. His terza-rima translation of Dante's Inferno will be published by W.W. Norton in January 2002.