Susan McLean’s poetry has appeared in two full-length poetry collections, The Best Disguise and The Whetstone Misses the Knife, and her translations of over five hundred of Martial’s Latin poems appeared in Selected Epigrams (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014). She has won a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers, the Richard Wilbur Award, and the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and has been a finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, the X.J. Kennedy Parody Award, and the PEN Center USA Literary Translation Award.
Hesiod is arguably the first writer we know about as a person in Western Literature. Probably writing in the late 8th century BC, he lived in the town of Askra, in Boeotia, Greece (a place he called “miserable in winter, vile in summer, unpleasant all the year round.”) He was a farmer himself and won a tripod in a poetry contest. He was embroiled in a lawsuit with his wastrel brother Perses over a property inherited from their father, and complained of corrupt judges; Modern Greeks would recognize this iron-age state of affairs today.