William Baer

William Baer, a recent Guggenheim fellow, is the author of sixteen books including Selected Sonnets: Luís de Camões (University of Chicago Press, 2005). A former Fulbright Professor at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, his translations from the Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian have been published in The London Review, New Letters, Atlanta Review, First Things, Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies, Modern Poetry in Translation, and other periodicals.



François Villon

François Villon (1431 – c. 1463) was born François Montcorbier. A promising graduate of the University of Paris, adept in law and the classics, he fled to the countryside in 1455 after killing a priest in a brawl. For the rest of his life he was a violent vagabond, a thief, and arguably the finest lyric poet in French literature. Between imprisonments, in extreme poverty, he produced volumes of poems, including The Testament. When his death sentence in Paris was commuted to a ten-year banishment, he left the city and was never heard from again.



Gérard de Nerval

Gérard de Nerval (1808 – 1855) was one of several pseudonyms used by Gérard Labrunie, who translated Goethe’s Faust at age 19 and continued to import German Romanticism into French while also reverting to Renaissance poets for sonnet forms. A theater critic, travel writer and prose stylist, he is also ranked, on the basis of a dozen evocative sonnets, as one of the finest French poets. Subject to repeated schizophrenic breakdowns, he died at 47.


Armand Sully Prudhomme

Armand Sully Prudhomme (1839 – 1907) was a student of law and philosophy who worked for years in the office of a Parisian notary after vision problems prevented a career in engineering. His writing efforts, encouraged by Leconte de Lisle, extended the Parnassian style, which objected to both Symbolism and free verse and hoped to restore the classical standards of elegance, calm and impersonality. Despite the small quantity of his verse and essays, Prudhomme was awarded the first Nobel Prize for literature, in 1901.



Arthur Rimbaud

Arthur Rimbaud (1854 – 1891) was a French poet who wrote some of the most remarkable poetry and prose of the 19th century. He prefigured surrealism and free verse, and was a major figure in symbolism. Precocious and miserable in provincial France, he ran away to Paris at 16, where he read voraciously and lived in alcoholic squalor, sometimes with Paul Verlaine. Widely regarded as a prodigy, he wrote all of his poetry in the space of less than five years. Before age 21, he burned his last manuscripts and is not known to have written other work.


Diane Furtney

Diane Furtney, after her Tulsa upbringing and with a psychology degree from Vassar College, worked a year in Israel (1967), then took an assortment of jobs, sometimes in clinical psychology, in several US cities. Besides nonfiction ghostwriting, she has authored two prizewinning poetry chapbooks (Destination Rooms and It Was a Game) and two comic mystery novels (pseudonym D.J.H. Jones).


Nelly Sachs

Nelly Sachs was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1891, the only child of upper-middle class Jewish parents. As a child, she was partly educated at home because of weak health, and for the same reason her parents discouraged her from a career in dancing, in which she had begun to excel.


Teresa Iverson

Teresa Iverson is a poet, translator, and editor. She holds a PhD in German Literature and Literary Translation from Boston University; her dissertation, on the poetry of Gottfried Benn, is titled: Gottfried Benn’s Intimate Discourse: The “Du” in Monologic Art.
    With Rosanna Warren, she taught poetry at MCI-Framingham, Massachusetts’ only prison for women, and coedited In Time, a collection of student inmates’ writing.


Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1897) holds the most wide-ranging influence of the French Symbolist poets. A respected reviewer and critic whose translations of Edgar Allan Poe were much admired in his time, he died young, at only forty-six, but left behind a legacy of work at the center of which stands his masterpiece, the poems of Les Fleurs du mal, first published in 1857 to shock and acclaim.


Ned Balbo

Ned Balbo’s latest book, The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, was awarded the 2010 Donald Justice Prize and the 2012 Poets’ Prize. Lives of the Sleepers received the Ernest Sandeen Prize and a ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Medal; Galileo’s Banquet shared the Towson University Prize.


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