B i o g r a p h i e s


 
 
CHAWKI ABDELAMIR was born in Nasiriyah, southern Iraq in 1949. He graduated from Baghdad's College of Literature in 1970. In 1977 he was awarded higher degrees from the Sorbonne, Paris, in comparative literature and literary criticism and settled in Paris, where he still lives. In 1993 he founded and directed the Rimbaud Centre for International Poetry in Paris and in Aden, Yemen, where it was situated in the house in which Arthur Rimbaud lived.  He was an advisor to UNESCO 1996-2002 and later directed UNESCO's Kitab fi Jareeda [Book in the Newspaper] project. Since 1 December 2003 he has been the Iraqi cultural consultant for UNESCO. He is a consultant editor for the French poetry magazine Poesie. Chawki Abdelamir has translated many anthologies of poetry from Arabic to French, and has published 11 collections of his own poetry in Arabic, with six published in French translation.

SALIH J. ALTOMA was born in Iraq. He is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Indiana University, USA, and has been associated with the university since 1964. He was its director of Middle Eastern Studies (1986-1991) and chair of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department (1985-1991). He has published works in Arabic and English on modern Arabic literature, on Arab and Western literary relations, and was guest editor of The Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, Volume 48, 2000, whose theme was Arab-Western Literary Relations.

SINAN ANTOON was born in Baghdad in 1967. He left Iraq in 1991 after the Gulf War and lives in the US. His poetry and articles (Arabic & English) have appeared in magazines and newspapers and his first novel, I`jaam [Barbarism] (Beirut, 2003) is being translated into English. His first collection of poems Mawshur Mubalalal bil-Hurub [A Prism; Wet with Wars] is forthcoming. He returned to Iraq in July 2003 to film a documentary on post-war Iraq entitled About Baghdad. He is studying for a PhD in Arabic Literature at Harvard.

MICHAEL AYRES was born in Nottingham, England, in 1958. He's the author of two volumes of poetry: Poems 1987 -1992 (Odyssey Poets, 1994), and a.m. (Salt Publishing, 2003); and of two pamphlets in the Poetical Histories series: no. 4, 1976 Streets (1998), and no. 51, The Sky That Was Your Guide (2000). The three long poems published here - Above, Cult and Decibel - are from the unfinished draft of his third book, When the Volts Flowed. The epigraph to When the Volts Flowed comes from Yukio Mishima's novel, The Decay of the Angel, and reads: "The perfectly ordinary girl and the great philosopher are alike: for both, the smallest triviality can become the vision that wipes out the world." Waterfall is a recent poem. An informal introduction to the author�s earlier work can be found archived on the Shearsman website.

FADHIL AL-AZZAWI was born in Kirkuk, north Iraq, in 1940, and by the age of fifteen was writing and publishing poetry - to date he has seven volumes of poetry, eight novels, a collection of short stories, two works of criticism and numerous literary translations into Arabic from English and German. He acknowledges an enormous debt to the cultural diversity of his home town, where Arabic, Assyrian, Kurdish and Turkish were the everyday languages. His collection In Every Well a Joseph is Weeping, translated by Khaled Mattawa, won the US Quarterly Review of Literature's international poetry book competiton in 1997. In 2003 US BOA Editions published Miracle Maker: Selected Poems of Fadhil Al-Azzawi, also translated by Khaled Mattawa. He has a BA in English Literature from Baghdad University and a PhD in journalism from Leipzig University. He spent three years in jail under the Ba'athist regime and left Iraq in 1977. He settled in Germany, where he still lives.

SARGON BOULUS  was born in Iraq in 1944 into an Assyrian family. He is a poet, short-story writer and translator. He lives mainly in San Francisco and has the rare experience of being an Iraqi poet caught up in the American poetry scene since the late sixties.  One of the most  influential Arab poets today, he is passing this on to the new generation of young Arab poets through his poetry. He started publishing poetry and short stories in 1961, contributing to the influential Shi'r [Poetry] magazine of Yousef Al-Khal and Adonis in Beirut. His poems and translations have since appeared in numerous Arab magazines and newspapers and he has published six poetry collections. He is well known as a translator into Arabic of English and American poets such as Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, W. S. Merwin, Shakespeare, Shelley, William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Robert Duncan, John Ashbury, Robert Bly, Anne Sexton, John Logan, and many other poets including Rilke, Neruda, Vasko Popa and Ho Chi Min. He is a consulting editor of Banipal.

SAMIA AKL BOUSTANI is a Lebanese literary critic and translator who lives between Beirut and Paris. 

MAHMOUD AL-BRAIKAN was born in al-Zubair, southern Iraq. He studied law at Baghdad University in the 1940s. From 1953 to 1959 he was a teacher in Kuwait, then returned to Baghdad and completed his law studies in 1964. He taught Arabic language and literature at Basra's Teachers' Training College until his retirement in the 1990s. He was killed in his Basra home on 28 February 2002, apparently by thieves. 

"The few early poems that were known by specialists and some friends were enough to give Mahmoud al-Braikan an equal or a near-equal voice to that of Sayyab and other pioneers of Iraqi and Arabic modern poetry. His legendary long and (for some) strange silence and the deliberate distance he maintained from all literary and social affairs, have now taken on a prophetic meaning. They shielded him from any kind of compromise with Saddam's Iraq where a writer who respected himself and the creative ethic had to learn early how to keep silent." Kadhim Jihad, writing about Al-Braikan in Banipal No 17.

BERTOLT BRECHT was the most influential German dramatist and theoretician of the theatre in the 20th century. Also a poet of formidable gifts and considerable output, Brecht first attracted attention in the Berlin of the 1920s as the author of provocative plays that challenged the tenets of traditional theatre. In the 1950s he became an internationally acclaimed playwright and director through productions of his plays by the Berliner Ensemble, a company based in East Berlin and headed by his wife, actor Helene Weigel. Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, in 1898. Raised in a comfortable middle-class home, he attended secondary school in Augsburg and studied briefly at the University of Munich. In 1924 he gained a foothold in the cultural metropolis of Berlin as an assistant dramaturge (drama specialist) at the Deutsches Theatre. He achieved enormous popular success following the 1928 premiere of his collaborative effort with German composer Kurt Weill, Die Dreigroschenoper (published 1928; translated as The Threepenny Opera, 1964). Forced to flee Germany in 1933 because of his leftist political beliefs and opposition to the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, Brecht and his family spent 14 years in exile in Scandinavia and the United States. Although he tried hard to become established in the United States, Brecht failed to make a breakthrough either as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, California, or as a playwright on Broadway. He returned to Europe in 1947 after he was forced to give evidence before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Two years later he moved to East Berlin and remained there until his death in 1956. 

MELISSA BROWN has an MA in poetry and a PhD in English Literature, both from the University of Iowa. She has published poetry, translations, poetry reviews and literary criticism, and is a writer and editor at Buckle Down Publishing in Iowa City.

VALENTINO GIANUZZI lives in Lima, where he was born in 1976. He graduated in Hispanic Literature from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and has worked as a journalist, translator and assistant editor. He is currently editing the complete fiction of Peruvian writer José Diez-Canseco.

JESSE GLASS recently passed the 3rd level of the National Japanese Proficiency Examination.  He is now, officially, an intermediate student.  At this rate, he will be 70 years old before he passes the highest grade, but he continues to have hope.  To keep his spirits up he maintains a blog at www.ahadadabooks.com, reads as many books as he can, writes from midnight to five in the morning, lifts weights at a nearby gym, plays with his kids, and travels.  Recent writing in Visiting Walt (University of Iowa Press), The Golden Handcuffs Review, Shearsman and Angel Exhaust.  His publishes the Ahadada Readers,the latest of which featured Alan Halsey and Geraldine Monk. 

CAMILO GOMEZ-RIVAS studied contemporary Lebanese and Palestinian literature at AUB and worked as a translator and journalist in Syria and Lebanon. He is a doctoral student in medieval studies at Yale University, USA. He translates medieval and contemporary Arabic poetry into English. He is a regular contributor to Banipal

JAMES GRAHAM and Lenara Verle's Photographs and Other Fictions website (www.donkeyraver.com) won the Jean Giono Prize at the Gremone Digital Conference at the same time that Verle's film Gridcosm won first prize at the VAD festival in Gerona, Spain.  His Delirium Tremens New York, which first appeared in Masthead, was published in France last year. 

ALAN HALSEY'S Marginalien, a comprehensive collection of poems, prose and graphics 1988-2004, will be published on April Fool's Day 2005 by Five Seasons Press. The book includes a CD-Rom of the text-graphic work Memory Screen which is being shown this spring at the Bury Text Festival. He is the editor of West House Books

JEFF HARRISON'S poetry collection Fickleyes, Futilears, & William Wormswork is available from MAG Press. His poetry has appeared in Nerve Lantern, Sentence, Big Bridge, XStream, Muse Apprentice Guild, Moria, Poethia, VeRT, BlazeVox, Word for Word, Xerography, Blackbox, Masthead, Side Reality, XPress(ed), Generator, Tin Lustre Mobile, Shampoo, Eratio, A Chide's Alphabet, 5_Trope, The Dream People, Aught, Blackboard Project, Cipher Journal, Newtopia, Pettycoat Relaxer, Great Works, canwehaveourballback, foam:e, Gypsy, Kichen Sink, Malleable Jangle, and Cranky.

BRIAN HOLTON was born in Scotland and educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham.  He has taught Chinese at Edinburgh, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne, and English Literature at Ningbo University. In 1997 he established the UK's first Chinese-English translating & interpreting programme at Newcastle. He is currently teaching translation at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has published a wide variety of translations from modern and pre-modern Chinese literature, as well as articles and essays on translation and translating. Apart from his work in English, he also translates into his native Scots.

BULAND AL-HAYDARI (1929-1996) was born in north Iraq on  September 26, 1926, moving to Baghdad as a boy. He started writing poetry in Kurdish and then turned to Arabic. Involved in left-wing politics, he was jailed in 1963 and put under a death sentence, only his reputation as a poet saving his life. He then lived in Lebanon until 1976 when he returned to Baghdad. He left Iraq when Saddam Hussein came to power, settling in London, where he co-founded the Union of Iraqi Democrats. He published twelve collections of poems plus three editions of his collected works. His poems have been published in English translation in many poetry anthologies.

MATT HETHERINGTON is a musician and writer based in Melbourne.  He is Contact Officer: Victoria for the Australian Haiku Society, and haiku can be found in the First and Second Australian Haiku Anthology. 'Spoken Word' pieces have been broadcast on television (Channel 31's Red Lobster).  He also writes reviews for Cordite, and is currently Vice-President of Overload Poetry Inc. Some current poetic inspirations: Jellaladin Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Colin Reeves, Paul Eluard, Tom Joyce, Maurice Blanchot.

VICENTE HUIDOBRO was born in Santiago, Chile in 1893, and died in 1893.  A flamboyant figure, he was the self-proclaimed father of the short-lived avant-garde movement known as Creacionismo ("Creationism") and a prominent figure in the post-World War I literary vanguard in Paris and Madrid as well as at home in Chile, and he did much to introduce his countrymen to contemporary European innovations in poetic form and imagery.   In 1916, after publishing several collections of poetry in Chile and achieving recognition and notoriety for literary manifestos as Non serviam (1914: "I Will Not Serve"), in which he rejected the entire poetic past, Huidobro went to Paris. There he collaborated with the avant-garde French poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy on the influential literary review Nord-Sud ("North-South"). He went to Madrid in 1918, where he was enthusiastically received in avant-garde literary circles and in 1921 he was one of the founders of Ultraísmo (Ultraism), the Spanish offshoot of Creationism. Traveling frequently between Europe and Chile, he was largely responsible for creating the climate of literary experimentation, based on French models, that prevailed in post-World War I Chile. He accomplished this as much through his well-publicised exploits (such as his semi-serious candidacy for the presidency of Chile) as through his frequent magazine articles and poetry. Continuing to write in the Creationist idiom in such novels as Sátiro; o, el poder de las palabras (1939; "Satyr; or, the Power of Words"), Huidobro also remained a prolific poet in that style long after the movement itself had collapsed. Huidobro's work exerted a strong influence on later Latin-American poets. 

ABDUL KADER EL JANABI was born in 1940 in Baghdad. He has published a number of books of poetry, critical essays, several anthologies of contemporary Arab poetry and has founded and edited literary magazines such as Grid, al-Noqta, Le désir libertaire, Faradis and at present Arapoetica. He is also active as a translator, both of his own work into French and sometimes into English, and of poets such as Paul Celan, Miroslav Holub, Benjamin Péret, Joyce Mansour, René Daumal, Max Jacob, Pierre Joris and Jerome Rothenberg, among others, into Arabic. He left Iraq in 1971 and has lived in Europe, mainly Paris, ever since. His latest collection Nés à Bagdad [Born in Baghdad], by Stavit Editions, Paris, was written in collaboration with Israeli poet Rony Somek. His autobiographical narrative Vertical Horizon, was published in French, German, Spanish and Italian as part of the Mèmoires de la Mediterranée project of the European Cultural Foundation.

KADHIM JIHAD was born in south Iraq in 1955 and has lived in Paris since 1976. He is a poet and translator, publishing his poetry in literary magazines for 25 years, with two collections. He has translated many authors into Arabic, including Arthur Rimbaud, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Jean Genet, Juan Goytisolo, Philippe Jaccottet. His latest work, with introductory study, is the first free-verse translation of Dante's Divine Comedy into Arabic (UNESCO, Paris, & Arab Institute for Research and Publishing, Beirut, 2003). He lives in Paris, and teaches at the Sorbonne.

PIERRE JORIS is apoet, translator & essayist.  He left Luxembourg at age 19 & has since lived in the U.S., Great Britain, North Africa, and France. Rain Taxi praised his collection, Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999, for "its physical, philosophical delight in words and their reverberations." Since then he has published two chapbooks of poetry: Permanent Diaspora(Duration Press) and most recently The Rothenberg Variations (Wild Honey Press, Ireland). In 2003 Wesleyan U.P. brought out his collection of essays A Nomad Poetics. Recent translations include Paul Celan: Selections (University of California Press, 2005), Lightduress by Paul Celan (Green Integer, 2004) and 4x1: Work by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey & Habib Tengour (Inconundrum Press 2002). With Jerome Rothenberg he edited the award-winning anthologies Poems for the Millennium and, just out from Exact Change, Pablo Picasso, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz & Other Poems. He often performs his work in collaboration with vocalist & visual artist Nicole Peyrafitte, most recently touring their multimedia show SumericaBachbones throughout Europe & the US. He currently teaches poetry and poetics at University in Albany, NY where he lives with Nicole Peyrafitte & their son Miles. During fall 2003 he was Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Visit Pierre Joris's website at www.albany.edu/~joris/.

TREVOR JOYCE was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1947. He co-founded New Writers' Press in Dublin with Michael Smith, and his first book was NWP's initial publication in 1967. Joyce was also a founding editor of NWP's influential journal, The Lace Curtain. He has published nine volumes of poetry, including The Poems of Sweeny Peregrine (1976), his working of the middle-Irish Buile Suibhne, and stone floods (1995), which was nominated for the Irish Times Literature Prize for Poetry. His most recent publications are with the first dream of fire they hunt the cold: A Body of Work 1966-2000 (NWP & Shearsman Books , 2001) and the audio CD Red Noise of Bones (Coelocanth & Wild Honey Press, 2001). Founder and director of the Cork International Poetry Festival since 1997, he served as Writer in Residence, NUIG, 2001-2002. Awarded a Literary Bursary by the Irish Arts Council (2001), Joyce was a Fulbright Scholar for the year 2002-2003. Two chapbooks, Take Over and Undone, Say, were published by The Gig,Toronto,Canada, in an edition of 150 copies in late 2003.� 

DANIJELA KAMBASKOVIC-SAWERS is a literary critic, translator, writer, and, whenever possible, a jazz singer, currently doing PhD work on the sonnet sequences of the English Renaissance as a RAACE Scholar at the Macquarie University in Sydney. She writes in Serbian and English. Her poems, literary translations and criticism have been widely published in literary periodicals and on-line journals across the countries of the Former Yugoslavia (Knjizevne novine, Knjizevni list, Mostovi, Teatron and Ludus - Serbia; Diwan and Album - Bosnia Herzegovina; Litkon - Croatia; Ars - Montenegro), as well as in New South Wales Law Journal (Sydney, Australia) and The Wolf Poetry Magazine (London, U.K.) Her first collection of poetry, Atlantis, will appear in Serbia and Montenegro in September 2005. The appearance in Masthead is her Australian poetic debut. Danijela lives in Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband, expecting a baby daughter in March 2005.

ABDULKAREEM KASID was born in 1946 in Basra, Iraq. He graduated in 1967 in philosophy from Damascus University, Syria, and has an MA in Translation from the University of Westminster, UK (1995). he taught psychology and Arabic literature in Iraq and Algeria. He left Iraq in 1978, taking a week-long desert camel journey to Kuwait. In Aden, Yemen, he worked as an editor of New Yemen Culture magazine, then lived in Syria during the 1980s. He currently lives in London. He has published many collections of poetry, his first in 1975, the latest in 2002.

FAWZI KARIM was born in 1945 in Baghdad. As a teenager he looked after the library of a mosque in old Baghdad, where he discovered the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. He published his first collection of poems in 1969. After studying Arab literature at the University of Baghdad, he started teaching at a high school, where suspicions about the "perversity" of his "communist ideas" led him to be relieved of his post on the rise of Saddam Hussein. He went into exile in Beirut, and the theme of Exile began to be one of the most moving elements in his later work. In Beirut he published his second volume (1972) and the Iraqi government let it be known that he was free to return to Baghdad. There he published an essay, "On Exile and the Consciousness of Exile" (1973) and his third collection (1977). In his new book of poems, he proclaimed his firm opposition to all forms of repression, which led to his going into exile again in the following year, this time to London, where he still lives. In 1983, 1988 and 1990 he published three more collections. In 1995, Continent de douleurs, in French translation by Said Farham, was published in Switzerland. 

DANIEL KEENE was born in Australia in 1955.  His multi-award winning plays have been acclaimed throughout Australia, in the United States and Poland.  Since the late 1990s there have been more than 50 productions of his work in France, and he is now considered one of the most significant contemporary playwrights in European theatre. He has won the South Australian Premier's Prize for� Drama, the Victorian Premier's Prize for� Drama (twice), the Wal Cherry Play of the Year, The New Dramatist's Award, New York and the NSW Premier's Prize for Literature (best play) twice.� The 2002 production of his play Terminus, directed by Laurent Laffargue at the TNT in Toulouse and the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, won the coveted Le Prix Pierre Jean Jacques Gaultier award for best direction.  His most recent French productions were To

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Whom It May Concern (Théâtre de la Commune, Paris), Paradise (Théâtre de la Ville, La Commune, Paris) and Because You Are Mine (Théâtre de l�Opprimé, Paris) in late 2004.  Website: danielkeene.com

JAMES KIRKUP is a poet, novelist, dramatist and translator. In the mid-1990s he won the Japanese Festival Foundation Prize for A Book of Tanka, and the Scott Moncrieff Prize for literary translation. In 2002 his translations of Japanese poets Fumiko Miuro and Fumi Saito were published. He has translated numerous books by French authors  and a number by Japanese poets. His complete works are published by Salzburg University Press, with some virtual books available on www.brindinpress.com. His latest collection of his own poetry is Islands in the Sky (2004), and published for the first time in the UK is his No More Hiroshimas (Spokesman Books, August 2004)). He is a regular contributor to Banipal.

DOUGLAS KIRWAN'S work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria, The Latrobe University Art Museum, The Charles Nodrum Gallery and other private collections.His work has been featured in several publications. Exhibitions include eight solo shows at the Charles Nodrum Gallery, Pinocotheca and Gallery Irascible. These shows include paintings, scultpures and works on paper.  He has participated in 18 Group Shows including the La Mama Theatre Poster Exhibition, the Charles Nodrum Collection at the Benalla Regional Art Gallery, the Charles Nodrum Gallery, The Cask at the The Access Gallery in the National Gallery of Victoria, the Aussie Icon Tour throughout Australia, Made In Cuba at the 1997 Fringe Festival, four Mornington Art Centre Print Prize shows and several Regional Galleries 

VALERIE KIRWAN is a full-time writer of novels, plays and short stories.  She studied English Literature at Melbourne University, and then had many forgettable jobs including teaching English and Drama and also working in a local nursing home, which was the basis for her novel The Moon is Bloodshot (Hornet's Nest Publishing).  In 1974 she began writing, directing & performing in her own plays.  Fourteen of her plays have been staged at various venues including La Mama Theatre, Carlton Courthouse, The Botanical Gardens, St Martin's Theatre, LaTrobe University and Anthill Theatre.  Her first novel, The Will to Fall, was published by Penguin Books in 1984 and made it onto the 12 top best selling list in the same year. Her short stories have appeared in various Australian anthologies. Lovers & Losers of the Last Century (a collection of four novellas published by Indra Publishing) was nominated for the 2003 Victorian Premier's Literary Award.  Her new novel, Taking A Fool To Paradise, a psychological thriller, was launched by Indra Publishing in December 2004.  The novel is based loosely on her play, The Art of Lobster Whistling, which she wrote and directed as La Mama Theatre's first Playwright-In-Residence.  She has received three literary awards.

KHALID AL-MAALY was born in al-Samawa, Iraq, in 1956. He has lived in Cologne, Germany, since 1980, where, in 1983, he founded the independent Arabic publishing house, Al-Kamel Verlag, publishing to date over 200 titles, including many that break with taboos and censorship in the Arab world. Seven collections of his poetry have been published, some in German. He has translated the poets al-Sayab, Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish, Sargon Boulus, Saadi Youssef, Ounsi el-Hage into German, and from German to the Arabic major volumes of poetry by Paul Celan and Gottfried Benn, and writes for German national newspapers.

ABDEL RAHMAN AL-MAJEDI was born in Baghdad in 1965. He graduated from Faculty of Languages, Baghdad University, in 1989. He left Iraq in 1992 and became a journalist on Iraqi exile newspapers. He has published his poetry in several Arab newspapers and magazines. In 2002 his first collection was published, Akhtaam Hijeriya - ma maalik li Ghadin Hayraan (Dar Makhtutat, Holland). Since 1997 he has lived in Holland.

SALLY ANN MCINTYRE is an Australian born writer residing in New Zealand. A selection of her poetic work can be found at the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre. She has worked as a scriptwriter on devised performance, experimental documentary film and sound/text projects, as well as writing art and music criticism, and catalogue essays. She has curated and co-curated exhibitions, live music events and radio broadcasts. Currently enrolled in the postgraduate programme in Contemporary Art Curatorship at the University of Canterbury, she is researching artistic and curatorial strategies dealing with sound, and artistic work which hybridises music and the expanded field of the visual arts; including experimental radiophonic projects, sound sculpture, media art and audio poetics. She often DJs her eclectic, New Zealand inflected experimental music collection under the name of .pindrop, and is currently learning to ring church bells by the English change ringing method.

KHALED MATTAWA was born in Libya in 1964. He is author of two books of poems, Ismailia Eclipse, and the recently released Zodiac of Echoes. His translation of Saadi Youssef's Without an Alphabet, Without a Face, was published in 2002 and received the PEN poetry in translation award. In 2003 BOA Editions published Miracle Maker, his translations of selected poems of Fadhil al-Azzawi. He teaches creative writing in the English faculty at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  He is a contributing editor of Banipal.

SOPHIE MAYER is the author of Marsh Fear/Fen Tiger (Salt), These are the Licks (Fair Ladies), and junkmaildays (above/ground). She spends her time looking for non-institutionalised forms of expression in the academy, selling books at the Toronto Women's Bookstore, thinking about films for NOW magazine, and writing a blog at www.shebytches.com.

PETER MINTER is a poet, editor and reviewer living in Sydney, where he teaches Indigenous Studies at the Koori Centre, University of Sydney. He has published five collections of poetry, including the 2000 Age Poetry Book of the Year Empty Texas (1999 Paper Bark Press, Sydney) and more recently Morning, Hyphen (2003 Equipage Press, Cambridge). He was a founding editor of Cordite in 1997, coedited Calyx: 30 Contemporary Australian Poets in 2000, and was poetry editor of Meanjin from 2000 to 2005. His work has been published and anthologised in various Australian and international publications, such as The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry. blue grass, his next book, will appear with Salt Publishing in 2005.

ADNAN MOHSEN was born in 1955 in Baghdad, Iraq, in the working-class district of Al-Kasrah, on the banks of the Tigris. 

GERALDINE MONK was born in England in 1952.  Her work has appeared in many of the major anthologies including Conductors of Chaos, The Oxford Anthology of 20th Century British & Irish Poetry and the first Ahadada Reader. Noctivagations, her 2001 collection of poetry and other texts,  was published by West House Books and her Selected Poems from Salt Publications appeared in 2003.  More information and a personal web page will be available shortly on www.westhousebooks.co.uk.

RICHARD JEFFREY NEWMAN is an essayist, poet and translator who has been publishing his work since 1988, when the essay "His Sexuality; Her Reproductive Rights" appeared in Changing Men magazine. Since then, his essays and poems have appeared in Salon.com, The American  Voice, On The Issues, The Pedestal, Circumference, Prairie Schooner, ACM, Birmingham Poetry Review, Potomac Review and other literary journals. He is an Associate Professor in the English Department of Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. He has given talks and led workshops on writing autobiographically about gender, sex and sexuality. His Selections from Saadi's Gulistan, the 13th century Persian masterpiece, has just been jointly published by Global Scholarly Publications and the International Society for Iranian Culture. His own book of poems, The Silence Of Men, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press. He is currently translating selections from Saadi's other masterpiece, the Busitsan.  Website: www.richardjnewman.com

SALAH NIAZI was born 1935 in Iraq and has lived in Britain since 1963. He is a poet, critic and translator and was founder-editor of the Arabic literary journal Al-Ightirab al-Adabi. He has published seven collections of poetry and has translated into Arabic Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth, and James Joyce's Ulysses.

GOLALA NOURI was born in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 1969. She has a diploma in electrical engineering and a certificate in Translation from Arabic to English. She has two collections of poems. She lives in Kirkuk.

SIMON PERCHIK is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. Readers interested in learning more about him are invited to read Magic, Illusion and Other Realities at www.geocities.com/simonthepoet which site lists a complete bibliography.

MOUAYED AL-RAWI was born in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 1939 and is a painter, poet and journalist. He played an important role in the cultural life of 1960s Iraq. He left Iraq in the early 1970s for Lebanon where he published one collection, Ihtimalat al-Wudhuh [Probability of Clarity] in 1978. He lives in Berlin. 

COLIN REEVES was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1944. He migrated to Australia in 1965. Recently, he has completed an MA in writing and literature. Resembling Deleuze and Guattari's theory of rhizomes (lines of flight and assemblages, etc), he is currently working on a dark, psychological novella in collage form - interfacing the subconscious, religion, sex and world events with virtual reality, temporality andcyberpsychosis.

TERRY RENTZEPIS is self-taught.  A life-time doodler, Terry began painting after undergoing major back surgery.  At the urging of his wife, he picked up a paint brush to fight back the long, lonely and painful hours of recovery.  He lives in Coconut Grove, Florida with his wife Sheri, their eleven-month old son Jake, a doberman named Ghost, a min-pin named Face and a rat called Ghetto. Website: alltenthumbs.com

SADRADEEN was born in 1963 in Kirkuk, Iraq, into a Kurdish family. He completed his degree in 1986 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and has shown his work in group exhibitions in Arbil, The Netherlands, Brussels and Amman, He has had solo exhibitions in Amman (1999) and in the USA (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004).  He was forced to leave his country in the late 1990s and first went to Jordan. Then later with his family he emigrated to America, settling there in 2000.

"The search for a paradise that has disappeared, the reflections on the simple and invisible things of this world, the depth of the substance of creatures, and a penetration into the profundity of the human spirit ... this is my particular world. My paintings are expressions full of modernity; they are also childish dreams in colour, expressive of the sweet passing of the beauty, the symbols and the myths of old civilisation. The creatures of my work are mythical poems illuminated by the charm of my country which comes from a distant past - part of it still found in nature, the other part already perished.  It is pure, personal discovery."- Sadraldeen

HASHEM SHAFIQ was born in Iraq in 1950. He published his poems first in Baghdad, then in Beirut, Damascus, Nicosia, Prague and London where he now lives. He has published 12 collections of poetry and one novel. Selected poems have been translated into English, French, German, Italian and Polish.

SAMUEL SHIMON has worked as a journalist and cultural editor, and since 2001 has developed and edited online Arabic newspapers including his own Arabic-English literary website, www.kikah.com.  Born into an Assyrian family in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq in 1956, he left his country in 1979, and has since lived in Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Aden, Cairo, Tunis, and Paris finally residing in London. He began writing autobiographical short stories in 1979 and poetry in 1985, publishing in Arab newspapers and magazine.  Since 1998, he has been the assistant editor of Banipal magazine, which he co-founded with its editor Margaret Obank.  In 2000, he and Obank edited A Crack in the Wall, poems by sixty Arab poets from the last twenty years of the 20th Century. In 2005, his autobiographical novel An Iraqi in Paris was published in English translation.

SAADI SIMAWE was born in Diwaniyah, Iraq, in 1946. He left Iraq in 1976, taught Arabic and English at high schools in the Sahara from 1976-1980, and has lived in USA since 1980.  He is associate professor of English at Grinnell College, Iowa. He teaches African-American  literature and literary theory. He has published many articles in English and Arabic, and a novel (in Arabic) Al-Khuruj min al-Qumqum, London 1999. He guest-edited MPT's issue on Iraqi Poetry Today (No 19), translated Palestinian poetry for MPT No 14 and edited the Arab Studies Quarterly Issue No 19, 1997, on Modern Iraqi Literature.

VIVIAN SLIOA was born in Baghdad in 1976. She writes in Arabic and Swedish. Her poetry has been published in a Swedish anthology and she has published two collections in Arabic, Ahzan al-Fusul (Dar al-Manfa, Sweden, 1997) and Atiyaan (Damascus, 2003). She lives in London.

MICHAEL SMITH founded the New Writers' Press in 1967, and has been responsible for the publication of more than sixty books and magazines. Through New Writers' Press he has promoted the modernist tradition in Irish poetry, publishing the work of Thomas MacGreevy, Denis Devlin, Brian Coffey, Niall Montgomery, Charles Donnelly, Anthony Cronin, Michael Hartnett, Paul Durcan, Trevor Joyce, and a host of other poets. He was founder/editor of the influential literary magazine The Lace Curtain and for many years now  has been a regular literary reviewer and features writer for The Irish Times.His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines both in Ireland and abroad and in many important anthologies of contemporary Irish poetry, including The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, edited by Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon, and Contemporary Irish Poetry, edited by Anthony Bradley (University of California Press, 1980, 1988). In 2001, he was the first Irish recipient of the European Academy Medal for distinguished work in the translation of poetry, awarded by the European Academy of Poetry.

FADHIL SULTANI was born in Iraq in 1948 and left the country in 1977. He is a poet, translator and is cultural editor of As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper in London. He has translated The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison into Arabic and poetry and an anthology of 50 Britiish poets, 1950-2000, is forthcoming. He has three collections of poems.

CÉSAR VALLEJO was born in 1892 in Santiago de Chuco, a small town in north central Peru, the youngest of eleven children. He completed his secondary schooling in 1908 and entered the School of Philosophy and Letters in 1910, but was forced to drop out for lack of money. He eventually achieved his degree in 1917. In 1920 he returned to his home village and after a violent incident in which a subprefect's aide was shot at the general store, he was accused of being an "intellectual instigator" and was jailed for almost six months. The incident was the catalyst for his departure from Peru two years later, when he left Peru for Paris. He lived in Europe for the rest of his life in more or less continuous poverty, unable to return to Peru for fear of being arrested, and wrote the poems which make up his three posthumous books and a large number of plays. He died in 1938. During his life he published two books of poetry: Los Heraldos Negros (The Black Heralds) in 1918 and Trilce (1922). His posthumous poems comprise three books: Nómina de huesos (1923-36), Sermón de la barbarie (1936-38) and Espana, aparte de mí este cáliz (1937-38).

STEPHEN VINCENT lives in San Francisco. Author of Walking (Junction Press), A Walk Toward Spicer (Cherry On Top Press), and, most recently, Sleeping With Sappho (faux ebook). An active blogger, various works in progress may be discovered at: stephenvincent.durationpress.com

YANG LIAN was born in Switzerland in 1955, and grew up in Beijing. His poems became well-known and influential inside and outside of China in the 1980s, especially when his poem �Norlang� was criticized by the Chinese government during the �Anti-Spiritual Pollution� movement. Yang Lian was invited to visit Australia and New Zealand in 1988 and became a poet in exile after the Tian�anmen massacre. He has published seven selections of poems, two selections of prose and many essays in Chinese and his work has also been translated into more than twenty languages. Yang Lian was awarded the Flaiano International Poetry Prize (Italy, 1999) and his book Where the Sea Stands Still: New Poems won the title �Poetry Books Society Recommended Translation� (UK, 1999). His most recent translations into English have been Yi, a book-length poem, and Notes of a Blissful Ghost, a selection of poems. His new book Concentric Circles will be published by Bloodaxe Books in 2005.

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SAADI YOUSSEF is one of the most important contemporary poets in the Arab world. Born in 1934 in Basra, Iraq, he left his country finally in 1979 and has lived in Syria, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Yemen, France, Jordan and Algeria before settling in London in 1999. In more than fifty years of writing poetry, he has published over thirty volumes of poetry in Arabic, as well as short stories and translations of many western poets and novelists, including Walt Whitman, George Orwell and V S Naipaul. In 2001, his first major English volume of poems Without an Alphabet, Without a Face, translated by Khaled Mattawa, was published and won the 2003 PEN Poetry in Translation Prize.

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