Robert Schechter has published poems and translations in Highlights for Children, The Washington Post, The Evansville Review, String Poet, Poetry East, The Alabama Literary Review, Ironwood, The Raintown Review, Per Contra, Light Quarterly, LightenUp Online, Snakeskin, Bumbershoot, among other journals.
Paul Valéry (1871 – 1942) was born in Sète on the Mediterranean. As a young man he wrote poems, painted, and was drawn to music and architecture. He studied law, mathematics, and physics at the University of Montpellier before moving to Paris, where his work was noticed by the Symbolist poets of the 1890s. However, searching for a greater understanding of the intellectual and emotional functions of the mind, he withdrew from writing poems for twenty years.
John Ridland was born in London in 1933. His British parents and he immigrated to California in 1935, where he has lived most of his life. He spent four years at Swarthmore College and two years in the Army in Puerto Rico. In 1956 he returned to Berkeley to study English, met and married Muriel Thomas from New Zealand, a fellow graduate student, and in 1964 completed a PhD from Claremont Graduate University. He taught English at the University of California, Santa Barbara for forty-three years, including nearly three in Melbourne, directing the UC Education Abroad Program in Australia.
Euripides (480 BC – 406 BC) was the youngest of the three great Athenian tragedians whose work survives. From the voluminous number of tragedies these three playwrights produced, we have seven apiece by Aeschylus and Sophocles, and eighteen or nineteen by Euripides, who was called in antiquity the most tragic of the tragic poets, and of whom it was also said that he showed people not as they ought to be but as they are. Some of the ancient references to Euripides, while they can’t be substantiated, give a vivid sense of the nature and popularity of his art.
Rachel Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at the Newark campus of Rutgers University. The most recent of her many books of poems is The Golden Road (Northwestern University Press, 2012); a memoir, Strange Relation, was published by Paul Dry Books in 2011.