Mary Melfi

Welcome to Hard Times

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 Welcome to Hard Times focuses on the difficulties of living in an unjust society. Many of the poems address the disturbing emotional conflicts that arise when individuals have to deal with catastrophic changes to their way of life, such as job losses. The complex, sociopolitical issues of class, ethnicity, gender and family relationships (often dysfunctional) are examined. Existential questions regarding identity also come into play. Despite the bleak subject matter, this collection of poems, as it is heavily spiked with black humor, offers a surprisingly hopeful and optimistic view on the human condition in the 21st century. In Mary Melfi’s world comedy and tragedy continuously interact, resulting in a blended narrative, dark, truthful, and at times, funny.

“Melfi is interested in the metaphysical side of human existence, the difficulties of establishing a coherent feminine identity, cultural dislocation, and the artist’s attempt to create a new reality.”
—The Concise Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature

“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… a body of work of international stature.”
— Dr. William Anselmi, Essays on Her Work

“In Office Politics, Melfi tackles the modern workplace. Her poems are about how the powerful manipulate the powerless. There are keen observations about the anxieties, tensions and frustrations of those who have to satisfy the whims of bosses.”
The Suburban

About Stages: “Like a surrealist painter, Melfi produces fantastic and dreamlike images…. Melfi’s landscape touches the unconscious, and takes the reader to a different reality.”
— The Canadian Book Review Annual

Mary Melfi is the author of over a dozen books. Her first novel, Infertility Rites (1991), and her critically-acclaimed memoir, Italy Revisited (2009), were both translated into French and Italian. Her children’s fantasy novel, Ubu, the Witch Who Would be Rich, was published by Doubleday Canada. Her play, a comedy, My Italian Wife, was produced in 2015. Also a poet, Mary Melfi’s work has been described as bold and futuristic. The author, who is of Italian descent, currently resides in Montreal.

ISBN 978-1-77171-498-3
112 Pages
6 x 9
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