CONTRIBUTORS
Fall 2003

ALEJANDRO AGUILAR (Cuba) is the author of Tesituras (poetry), Paisaje de Arcilla and Figuras tendidas (short stories). A selection of his stories will be published shortly in English in the U.S. En el mismo barco (novel) will appear this year in Puerto Rico. At present he is working on another novel “Sarduy's doubt."

MELIH CEVDET ANDAY (1915-2002), one of the luminaries of Turkish literature, was born in Istanbul in 1915. He pioneered a new school of poetry. Writer of eleven collections of poems, eight plays, eight novels, fifteen collections of essays, and a book of memoirs, Anday won many prizes for his work, which was translated into Russian, German, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Serbian, Polish, and English.

IMRE BARNA (1951- ) was born in Budapest, where he earned a degree in Italian and German languages and literatures. Long-time Editor-in-Chief of Európa Publishing House and a former Director of the Hungarian Academy in Rome, he also teaches courses on literary translation at the University of Budapest. He has published translations into Hungarian from Italian, Geman, English, and French, and authored critical essays on literature and cinema. His translation of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Roses, won the Wessely Book of the Year prize in 1989, and in 1993 his translation of Foucault's Pendulum was awarded the Forintos prize.

SARAH BARR is an instructor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at The American University in Cairo, having earned an MA in German and an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. For her translations of Colonies of Love she has won two Lily Peter Fellowships, the Gary Wilson Award from the University of Arkansas Press, a Fulbright Translation Thesis Fellowship, an American Literary Translators Association Conference Fellowship, and a Walton Fellowship.

MARIA POGLITSCH BAUER (1949 - ) was born in Carinthia, Austria and studied English and History in Vienna and Baltimore, MD. A free-lance writer and translator, she also teaches English as a Second Language at a Southern California community college.

ADRIANA BEBIANO is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anglo-American Studies and a researcher in the Centro de Estudos Sociais, at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Her work is mainly on contemporary Anglo-American fiction. Translating poetry happens from time to time—and it makes her happy.

ZIVA BEN-PORAT is a professor of Poetics and Comparative Literature and the director of The Porter Institute for Poetics and semiotics at Tel Aviv University. She has worked on intertextuality, allusion in particular, and on the relations between artistic presentations, cultural concepts and mental representations. She is currently involved in an IST EC project, CULTOS, that develops authoring tools and transformers for the construction and presentation of multi-media threads organized by linking explicitly tagged intertextual relations between artifacts or segments thereof.

SASA BENULIC was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she studied English and Comparative Literature and then taught English at a secondary school. She holds an MA in American Literature and teaches American Culture and Language Acquisition Classes at the University of Ljubljana.

ANNIE BOUTELLE, born and raised in Scotland, was educated at the University of St. Andrews and New York University. Author of Thistle and Rose: A Study of Hugh MacDiarmid's Poetry, she has written numerous scholarly and popular essays. She teaches in the English Department at Smith College, where she founded the Poetry Center. Her sequence of poems based on the life of Celia Thaxter was a finalist for the 1999 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and she has published poems in various journals, including POETRY, The Green Mountains Review, The Hudson Review, Poet Lore, Iris, Painted Bride, and Nimrod.

ANDRÉ CHÉNIER (1762-94) became an honorary Romantic when his poems were published in 1819, on the eve of the new movement in poetry inaugurated by Lamartine and a quarter century after his life was cut short by the guillotine. Born in Constantinople, where his father was the French consul, Chénier grew up in Paris where his mother, from a Greek family, held a salon and befriended the leading writers of the day. After a brief military career he served three years as secretary to the French embassy in London, during which time the Revolution broke out; he welcomed it as first, but was shocked by the execution of Louis XVI and wrote against it in newspaper articles. Arrested during the Terror, he spent several months in prison awaiting death, though no charges had been filed; there he met and admired Aimée Franquetot de Coigny, the former Duchess of Fleury, the "young captive" of the following poem. She was able to escape prison through bribery, but Chénier was not so lucky: he was guillotined on July 25, just two days before the fall of Robespierre and the end of the Terror. His poem about her was published shortly thereafter, but few others were known until 1819. From that date on he was celebrated as the one who brought French poetry out of its century-long decline. The first of Victor Hugo's odes (written early in 1821) and two later ones have an epigraph from Chénier. The largest part of Alfred de Vigny's novel Stello (1832) retells the efforts to free Chénier from prison. Alfred de Musset remembers him in "A Wasted Evening" (1840). And he meant a good deal to Alexander Pushkin, who was a French poet before a Russian one.

HUGO CLAUS was born in 1929 in Bruges (West-Flanders, Belgium). As a young man, he worked on farms and as a seasonal laborer in sugar factories in Northern France while studying at the Academy of Ghent (Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten) and the Theatre Academy of Ghent (Toneelschool). His meeting with Antonin Artaud in 1948 stimulated his interest in experimental art. From 1948 to 1951, he was a member of the modern painters' movement COBRA, founded by Dutch painter Karel Appel. In 1973, he married the soft-porn actress Sylvia Kristel (known for the 1970s series of Emmanuelle movies) with whom he has a son. At various moments in his career, he lived in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Claus is a prolific painter, poet, dramatist, fiction writer, translator, and theatre and movie director. Among his most famous novels are De Verwondering (1962; L'Etonnement), a story about Flemish Nazis during the WWII occupation) and Het Verdriet van België (1983; Le Chagrin des Belges; The Sorrow of Belgium). He has received numerous national and international awards and several Nobel Prize nominations.

CRISTINA DE LA TORRE lives in Atlanta where she teaches Spanish and translation at Emory University. She has translated various short stories and three novels: Absent Love by Rosa Montero (Spain, with Diana Glad), Mirror Images by Carme Riera (Spain), and One Single, Numberless Death by Nora Strejilevich (Argentina). A native of Cuba, for the last few years she has been translating writers from the land of her birth.

JOHN DUVAL's translation of Cesare Pascarell's book of Romanesco sonnets, The Discovery of America, was a 1992 Harold Morton Landon Prize winner from the Academy of American poets, and his translation of Adam le Bossu's verse comedy Greenwood Follies won him an NEA for the year 2000. His latest book is Fabliaux Fair and Foul, published by Pegasus Paperbooks, which is also scheduled to publish his and Raymond Eichmann's Old French Plays from Adam to Adam this spring.

NIKOS ENGONOPOULOS (1907-1985), one of the younger generation of Greek poets (which included Andreas Embirikos and Odysseas Elytis) who embraced the liberationist promise of French Surrealism at a time of right-wing dictatorship at home and ascendent Fascism abroad.

MICHAEL FERBER is Professor of English and Humanities at the University of New Hampshire. He has written books on Blake and Shelley, and most recently A Dictionary of Literary Symbols (Cambridge). He is now at work on an anthology of European Romantic Poetry for Longman.

DONALD GECEWICZ's translations of Italian poets appeared in International Poetry Review vol. 23, no. 2, for which he served as guest editor. An essay, "Indirections to Rome," appears in Travelers' Tales Italy. His translation of Colette's Chéri premiered at Live Bait Theater (Chicago) in March 1999 and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson citation for best adaptation to the stage. In January 2001, Gecewicz was awarded an individual fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts to support his translating of work of contemporary Italian poet Giovanni Raboni. In April 2001, his play Night Battles premiered at Live Bait Theater (and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson citation for best new work). He has a BA from the University of Chicago.

LUC GILLEMAN was born and raised in Ostend, a coastal town in the Flemish part of Belgium. After a brief stint as radio-officer in the merchant marines, he studied Dutch and English philology at the University of Brussels, then worked free-lance for the Association du Patrimoine Artistique, translating books on Belgian art and architecture. He moved to the United States in 1987 on a Belgian American Educational Fellowship and in 1995 obtained a PhD in English from Indiana University, Bloomington. In the same year, he joined Smith College where he teaches in English and Comparative Literature. His book John Osborne: Vituperative Artist was published by Routledge in 2001. He is currently translating poems by Hugo Claus and working on a book about the search for structure in modern plays.

F. MUGE GOCEK is Professor of Sociology and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

ROGER GREENWALD, who grew up in New York and completed graduate work in English at the University of Toronto, is a poet and translator who teaches writing at Innis College in that university. He has published one book of poems, Connecting Flight (1993), and nine volumes of poetry and fiction translated from Scandinavian languages. He has won many awards for his translations.

JAN NORDBY GRETLUND is Senior Lecturer in American and literature at the University of Southern Denmark. He has held ACLS or Fulbright fellowships at Vanderbilt, Southern Mississippi, and South Carolina's universities. He is the author of Eudora Welty's Aesthetics of Place, and Frames of Southern Mind: Reflections on the Stoic, Bi-Racial & Existential South. He has co-edited four books Realist of Distances: Flannery O'Connor Revisited; Walker Percy: Novelist and Philosopher; Southern Landscapes; and The Late Novels of Eudora Welty; and has edited The Southern State of Mind (2000). He is a member of the Editorial Board for the South Carolina Encyclopedia; and he is literary editor of the EAAS' Southern Studies Forum Newsletter. He has two manuscripts at publishers one on Madison Jones and one on Flannery O'Connor. He translated into English Isak Dinesen's (Karen Blixen) prophetic introduction to the Danish edition of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's.

SAMUEL GROLMES was a Fulbright Professor of English to Japan, and later taught American Literature at Tezukayama Gakuin University, Osaka. He is professor emeritus of Japanese at the College of San Mateo. He has published numerous poems in literary journals in America and Japan. In collaboration with his wife Yumiko Tsumura, he has published translations of modern Japanese poetry and fiction in literary journals as well as New Directions Annuals. He has also published the books Poetry of Ryuichi Tamura, (1998), Tamura Ryuichi Poems 1946-1998, (2000) and a collection of translations of the poetry of Kazuko Shiraishi, Let Those Who Appear, New Directions, 2002.

ELKE HEIDENREICH, born in 1943, studied Germanistik and Theater in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. Since 1970 she has been a freelance writer, as well as a personality in both radio and television. Heidenreich became well-known in Germany as butcher's wife Else Stratmann, a radio character she portrayed for eleven years. For seventeen years she had a regular column in the magazine Brigitte. Kolonien der Liebe, her first collection of short stories, was published by Rowohlt in 1992. She won the 1996 Medienpreis für Sprachkultur, an award given for outstanding contributions in the media to the German language. She has won a number of awards for her writing, including the Deutscher Büchertum. Her works have been translated into five different languages.

NICK HILL is a bilingual poet, translator, and essayist. His poetry has appeared in The Bilingual Review, Dogwood, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, and others. His translation credits include works by Miguel Barnet, Alvaro Mutis, Javier Campos, and others. He teaches Latin American Literature and Spanish at Fairfield University.

EDGARDO D. HOLZMAN was born in Argentina, grew up in Latin America and the Far East and settled in the U.S. in 1972. An attorney, federally certified court interpreter and bilingual English/Spanish translator, he holds a JD degree from the University of Buenos Aires and an LLM from George Washington University. He has worked for a number of international organizations and now free-lances from his home in Philadelphia.

DAVID HUERTA, born in Mexico in 1949, is a well-established writer, with ten published books, including Incurable (1987), the longest poem in the history of Mexican literature, and Calcinaciones y vestigios / Calcinations and Vestiges (2000) from which the present selection is taken. This collection is made up of three previously published volumes, including Historia / History (1990), winner of the prestigious Carlos Pellicer prize. Huerta has other awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1978, has taught at various universities in the U.S., and is a frequent contributor to Letras Libres, Mexico's premiere cultural review.

The author of eight volumes of poetry, as well as articles, reviews, and translations from English, French, German, and Swedish, IOANA IERONIM has served as Cultural Counselor in the Romanian Embassy in Washington and publicity director for the Soros Foundation in Bucharest; currently she is a Program Director for the Fulbright Commission in Romania. In spring 2000, Bloodaxe published The Triumph of the Water Witch, translated by Ieronim and Sorkin; a volume with narratively linked prose poems based on the poet's childhood in a Transylvanian Saxon village and the coming of Soviet-style communism, its publication was supported by a Council of England translation grant. The book was shortlisted for the Weidenfeld Prize, St. Anne's College, Oxford, with a special commendation from the judges. In a review by Fiona Sampson in Thumbscrew, termed "an extraordinary book." Ieronim is the translator of Andrei Codrescu's poetry in Romanian in Alien Candor / Candoare straina (Bucharest 1997). These poems are from a volume of Ieronim's poetry entitled 41, due out in Romania in our joint translation at the end of 2003.

Before completing her PhD in Renaissance Literature at Berkeley, KIMBERLY JOHNSON earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and an MA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Her collection of poetry, Leviathan with a Hook (Persea Books), was published in 2002, and her work has appeared recently in The New Yorker and New England Review.

OLGA KIRSCH (1924-1997) was born and raised in an English-speaking home in Koppies, a tiny town in the Afrikaner heartland of the Orange Free State, where her father (a native Yiddish speaker) had emigrated from Lithuania in 1919. Kirsch considered Afrikaans her mother tongue. She published her first collection of poetry in 1944, at the age of twenty, and was the second woman poet to publish in Afrikaans. Her second collection was published in 1948, the year she emigrated to Israel at the age of twenty-four, and her third collection in Afrikaans, from which the sonnets in this issue are taken, appeared in 1972. In later years, she wrote in English.

CARROL LASKER holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and is Assistant Professor of Speech and Theater at CUNY's New York City College of Technology. Born and raised in South Africa, she has published widely on African literature and has translated many works from Afrikaans and Kaaps. These include the poetry and drama of Adam Small, as well as Arthur Nuthall Fula's The Golden Magnet. She is currently working on a translation of black South African women's narratives.

Teacher, freelance writer/translator, Fulbright Border Scholar in the San Diego-Tijuana region, JOAN LINDGREN has published widely in magazines such as the American Poetry Review, DoubleTake, and Modern Poetry In Translation. Among her published books is the University of California Press Unthinkable Tenderness, Selected Poems of Juan Gelman. (1997) A manuscript in process, Relinquishing Permanence, includes translations of three Spanish poets: Claudio Rodriguez, Angel Ruperez, and Jose Angle Valente.

MARTIN MCKINSEY's translations of Modern Greek include Late into the Night: The Last Poems of Yannis Ritsos (Oberlin UP) and Andreas Franghias' The Courtyard, which won the 1996 Greek State Prize for translation. His translation of the poems of Nikos Engonopoulos is forthcoming from Green Integer, and he is currently completing a project involving the prose of C.P. Cavafy. He teaches modern literature at the University of New Hampshire.

MARIO MATERASSI is Professor of Literature of the United States at the University of Florence, where he has also directed the Department of Modern Philology. His scholarly publications include two books on Faulkner (I romanzi di Faulkner, 1968; Faulkner, ancora, 2003); on African American literature and culture (Mississippi: documenti della resistenza afroamericana, 1971; Voci nere, 1975; Il ponte sullo Harlem River, 1977); on Jewish American writers (Rothiana: Henry Roth nella critica italiana, 1985; Scrittori ebrei americani, 2 vols., 1989; Figlie di Sarah, 1996). He has edited works by James Baldwin (1968); Melville (1969); Henry Roth (Shifting Landscape: A Composite, Philadelphia 1987), Cynthia Ozick (1990), Hugh Nissenson (1991), photographer C.F. Lummis (1991), Kate Chopin (1993), Roberta Kalechofsky (1995, 1998), Faulkner (8 volumes), Toni Morrison (2003). He has published essays on Melville, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Mailer, Bowles, Hillerman, Cesare Pavese, Moravia, Tomasi di Lampedusa, and many others; on Chicano literature (Anaya, Leo Romero); on the detective novel in the Southwest; a book on New York (Il baco nella mela, 1981). His translations include Roth's Call It Sleep, Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Soldiers' Pay (also, forthcoming, Sanctuary and Light in August), Ford's The Good Soldier, Mailer's Advertisements for Myself, Ozick's The Messiah of Stockholm. Also a writer of short fiction, Materassi has published two collections of short stories which have won critical acclaim: Il romitorio (1989) and I malaccompagnati (2000). In 1998, in collaboration with American artist John Giannotti, he published Toccando i muri/Touching the walls. Two of his stories have been anthologized, and two won first and second prize, respectively, in national competitions. He has also published stories in English, in The Quarterly (1995), Blue Mesa Review (1995), and Italian Quarterly (1998). Notizie dell'ora morta, a new collection, is due out in the spring of 2004. It will include "Niente di personale."

GIAMBATTISTA MENEI teaches at the University of Pescara in Italy.

GEORGE MESSO was born in 1969. His books include From The Pine Observatory (Halfacrown Books, 2000), and The Complete Poems of Jean Genet (translated with Jeremy Reed). He has been a translator-in-residence at The British Centre for Literary Translation, writer-in-residence at the International Writers' & Translators' Centre of Rhodes, The Baltic Centre in Sweden, and was Hawthornden Fellow in Poetry for June/July 2002 at Hawthornden Castle, Scotland. His poetry has been anthologized in Framing Reference (ed. Valerie Kennedy, 2001) and Reactions (ed. Esther Morgan, 2002). He is the founding editor of the international journal Near East Review. He teaches in the Faculty of Humanities & Letters at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

BETTY ROSE NAGLE is Associate Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Indiana University. Her translation of the Silvae, a collection of occasional poetry by the 1st century CE Roman poet Statius, is forthcoming from Indiana University Press in Spring 2004. She has also translated the Fasti, a poem about the Roman calendar of religious festivals by the Augustan Age Roman poet Ovid and has published a a monograph on the poetry Ovid wrote from exile on the Black Sea, as well as articles on narrative strategies in Ovid's masterwork, the Metamorphoses.

THALIA PANDIRI, Editor-in-Chief of Metamorphoses, is Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Smith College. She has published numerous translations from Modern Green and Medieval Latin.

JOONSEONG PARK was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. He came to the United States in 1994, and is now attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His fiction has appeared in Fiction, Green Mountains Review, American Letters & Commentary, RE:AL, Hawaii Pacific Review.

ALEXANDER PUSHKIN (1799-1837), whom most Russian readers regard as their greatest poet and the founder of modern Russian poetry, was a French poet before he was a Russian one, and was much influenced by eighteenth-century French poets such as Chénier. Later he was very taken with Byron, but, as his poem on Chénier suggests, his esteem for Chénier seemed to grow as his enthusiasm for Byron waned. The epigraph is from "La Jeune Captive."

GIOVANNI RABONI was born in Milan, Italy, in 1932. He has worked as an editor for Mondadori book publishers as well as a literary critic for Europeo magazine and drama critic for Corriere della Sera. He is the author of eleven volumes of poetry, which were collected in 1997 as Tutte le Poesie (Garzanti Publishers). The translations published in this issue are from Ogni Terzo Pensiero, which won the Viareggio-Repaci prize for poetry in 1994. He has translated French authors Baudelaire, Apollinaire, and Racine into Italian. During the 1990s, he published Alla Ricerca del Tempo Perduto, a complete translation into Italian of Proust's A la Récherche du Temps Perdu. Raboni lives and works in Milan.

RAINER MARIA RILKE (1875-1926) was born and educated in Prague, where he published his first collection of poems in 1894. He traveled widely in Europe before arriving in Paris in 1902 to work as secretary for the sculptor August Rodin. He kept this job for less than a year, but lived and wrote in the city, supported by patrons, until 1909. His signature poetic compositions, Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus, were both published in 1923, three years before his death in Switzerland.

CLAUDIO RODRIGUEZ (1934-1999, Spain) Frequent winner of literary prizes, university professor translator of T.S. Eliot, and member of the Royal Spanish Academy, Claudio Rodriguez evolved as a poet into the tradition of the Spanish mystic, of ecstatic poets such as San Juan de la Cruz. The last of his five books, Casí una leyenda (Tusquets, Barcelona, 1991), is one of the publisher's series, "Nuevos Textos Sagrados." The poet's wonder and perplexity in face of the relentless process of change fuel his journey into the physicality of moment and matter. His long lines and transparent language suit his meditations upon death, nature, and the possibility of transcendency.

ELIF SHAFAK was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She spent her teenage years in Spain, before returning to Turkey. Her first novel, Pinhan (The Sufi) which she published at age twenty-seven, was awarded the Rumi Prize—a recognition given to best works in mystical/transcendental literature. The novel tells the story of a hermaphrodite mystic—a little known but revered tradition—inside the Sufi orders. Her second novel, The Mirrors of the City, is about a Sephardic Jew who moves to seventeenth century Istanbul after being expelled from Spain, and about estrangement and deterritorialization. Titled Mahrem (The Sacred), her third novel is about the gaze, the sacred, and the body that must search for its elusive autonomy while being encroached upon by the gazes of others; it received the Turkish Novel Award. Her fourth novel, The Flea Palace, weaves together the stories of all the inhabitants of an apartment building to develop the theme of visible and unseen degradation—moral, physical, social and cultural—lived in the heart of the aging and beautiful city of Istanbul. In three months the book sold over 22,000 copies. All of her novels have been reprinted multiple times, and her work is being translated into German, Greek, and English. A political scientist who specializes in Gender and Women's Studies, Shafak is also a scholar, media critic, and journalist. Most recently she was a visiting scholar at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center in South Hadley in 2002-2003, and she is at present a visiting scholar teaching at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

KAZUKO SHIRAISHI is one of Japan's foremost poets, and certainly the most internationally acclaimed. She has published more than twenty books of poetry and numerous volumes of essays, and has received all of Japan's major literary awards. Born in Vancouver in 1931, she was taken to Japan by her family in 1938, just prior to World War II. After the war, at the age of seventeen she became a member of the VOU surrealist group led by Katsue Kitaono, a Pound correspondent. In 1951, she published her first book of poems, The Town that Rains Eggs. In the sixties, she emerged as a strong voice in her own right. She was a pioneer in the call for freedom of expression, for uninhibited spiritual and sexual liberation. She began a jazz-poetry revolution in Japan, reading to the accompaniment of jazz music. Following such poets as Kenneth Rexroth and Allen Ginsberg she advanced the jazz-poetry performance to an art form in Japan, in response to the avant-garde movement of such musicians as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and others. In 1973, she was guest poet at Iowa's International Writing Program. In 1975, New Directions published Seasons of Sacred Lust, a volume of translations of her poetry edited by Rexroth. She has been invited to international poetry festivals and conferences throughout the world, traveling to the United States, as well as to Australia, The Netherlands, the Philippines, France, Italy, India, South Africa, Greece, England, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Her poems have been translated into more than twenty languages. Her latest book, My Floating Mother, City, was published in Tokyo in January, 2003. It has received rave reviews.

ADAM J. SORKIN's recent volumes of translation include Medea and Her War Machines by Ioan Flora (Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2002) and three books in 2003: Diary of a Clone by Saviana Stånescu (Spuyten Duyvil / Meeting Eyes Bindery); Singular Destinies: Contemporary Poets of Bessarabia (Chisinåu, Moldova); and, appearing this fall, 41 by Ioana Ieronim (Bucharest). Other books include Sea-Level Zero, poems by Daniela Cråsnaru (BOA Editions, 1999), and The Triumph of the Water Witch, prose poems by Ioana Ieronim (Bloodaxe Books, 2000), shortlisted for the Weidenfeld Prize, Oxford. Sorkin's previous Bloodaxe book, The Sky Behind the Forest: Selected Poems of Liliana Ursu (1997), was also shortlisted for the Weidenfeld. Forthcoming from Bloodaxe are The Bridge, Marin Sorescu's deathbed volume, and from Northwestern University Press, a volume of Daniela Cråsnaru's short stories, The Grand Prize. Many of these books were translated in conjunction with the author. Sorkin's work has appeared in Metamorphoses a number of times before.

The Roman poet STATIUS (PUBLIUS PAPINIUS STATIUS) was born at Naples, but lived and wrote at Rome. He was roughly contemporary with the Emperor Domitian (51-96 CE), during whose reign (81-96 CE) he composed all his works. These include the Thebaid, an epic about the war between the sons of Oedipus for the throne of Thebes; the Silvae, a collection of occasional poems; and the unfinished Achilleid, an epic on the life of the hero Achilles. The Silvae celebrate the private lives and public careers of his friends and those in power, including the Emperor. Typically these are long poems and often contain marvelously detailed descriptions—one friend's villa on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Naples, another's villa straddling a river at Tivoli, a newly installed colossal equestrian statue of the Emperor, and so on. Statius pioneered this kind of descriptive poetry and was the first Roman poet to celebrate luxury rather than condemn it. These poems also sometimes include witty mythological vignettes in which the gods intervene in the lives of Statius' friends, as when Venus plays matchmaker between a fellow-poet and his bride-to-be. "The Insomniac's Prayer" (Silvae 5.4, usually titled "Sleep") seeks divine intervention rather than telling about it, and is also unusual in being both brief and personal.

FRIEDRICH TORBERG (1908-1979) was born in Vienna as Friedrich Ephraim Kantor, son of a well-to-do Jewish family. The death and funeral of Emperor Francis Joseph was one of the formative events of his childhood. After the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire, his family moved to Prague in 1921. Torberg was writing—and being published—throughout his high school years, but failed to pass the rigorous exit exam (Matura). The experience became the basis of his first novel, Der Schueler Gerber (Pupil Gerber), an international success. Torberg began to write for the German-language Prager Tagblatt in the late 1920s, served as the paper's culture correspondent for Vienna, wrote for other magazines and newspapers, and also published three more novels before being forced into exile by Hitler's annexation of Austria. After dangerous and difficult times in France and Portugal, he was able to travel to the United States as one of "Ten Outstanding German Anti-Nazi Writers" sponsored by American aid committees. He spent time in New York and Los Angeles, was part of the exiled German-language communities in both cities, and wrote prodigiously. He returned to Vienna in 1951, became culture correspondent for major German newspapers, published several volumes of theater critiques, and edited the literary magazine Oesterrichische Monatsblaetter fuer kulturelle Freiheit from 1954-1965. Torberg saved an unpublished, quirky Austrian writer from oblivion by working on the literary estate of and finally publishing Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando in 1963. Torberg's outstanding translations secured the German-language fame of Israeli satirist Ephraim Kishon. While Torberg's later works of fiction were not as successful as the novels of his youth, he became known to a wider public and indeed a "best seller" with two volumes of anecdotal memoirs, Die Tante Jolesch (Aunt Jolesch) in 1975 and Die Erben der Tante Jolesch (Heirs of Aunt Jolesch) in 1978. In describing "two definitely vanished ingredients of Western civilization: the imperial and royal monarchy and her Jewish bourgeoisie" he resurrected the flavor of the long-gone Habsburg monarchy through use of th enow slightly outdated, German cultivated by its upper echelons—and the various imitations of that cadence by its many peoples.

YUMIKO TSUMURA was born and educated in Japan. After entering the PhD program at Kwansei Gakuin University, she moved to The University of Iowa to complete an MFA in Poetry and Translation at the Writer's Workshop. She has taught in universities in Japan and in America, and is currently a professor of Japanese at Foothill College. She has published original poems in English in various literary journals, and has collaborated with Samuel Grolmes in the translation of modern Japanese poetry and fiction. Her publications include Poetry of Ryuichi Tamura, (1998), Tamura Ryuichi Poems 1946-1998 (2000), and a collection of translations of the poetry of Kazuko Shiraishi, Let Those Who Appear, New Directions, 2002.

VERGIL (PUBLIUS VERGILIUS MARO) (70-19 B.C.E.), Roman poet, was born near Mantua, Italy. His early work, The Eclogues (37 B.C.E.), idealized rural life. His Georgics (30 B.C.E.) is a didactic poem of rural life exalting labor. His last work, The Aeneid, was intended as a national epic, narrating the legend of Trojan exile Aeneas as he settled what would become Rome.

SONG YONG was born in Youngkwang, Korea in 1940. He studied German language and literature at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and started his writing career with a short story, "Cock-Fighting," published in Changbi magazine in 1967. Since then, he has published several books of fiction and non-fiction including Teacher and the Crown Prince (1974). His most recent collection of short stories, For Baloza, was published in April 2003 by Changbi.

back

index