H.D. (1886-1961) (the pen name of Hilda Doolittle) was born in the Moravian community of Bethlehem, PA in 1886. A major twentieth century poet with "an ear more subtle than Pound's, Moore's, or Yeats's" as Marie Ponsot writes, she was the author of several volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, and memoirs. She is perhaps one of the best-known and prolific women poets of the Modernist era. Bryher Ellerman was a novelist and H.D.'s wealthy companion. She financed H.D.'s therapy with Freud.
Osama Alomar was born in Damascus, Syria in 1968 and now lives in Chicago. A poet, short-story writer, and musician, Alomar is the author of three collections of short stories and a volume of poetry. He is a regular contributor to various newspapers and journals within the Arab world.
In 1953 Lawrence Ferlinghetti cofounded City Lights, the first paperback bookstore in the United States, a Mecca for millions. His Coney Island of the Mind is one of the best-selling volumes of poetry by any living American poet. Born in Yonkers, New York, in 1919, Ferlinghetti has received the Robert Frost Memorial Medal and the first Literarian Award of the National Book Foundation.
Forrest Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up in Virginia. In addition to writing poetry, he has translated works by Coral Bracho, Alfonso D'Aquino, Pura Lopez-Colome, Pablo Neruda, and Jaime Saenz. The recipient of grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting, and United States Artists Foundations, he taught for many years as the AK Seaver Professor of Literary Arts & Comparative Literature at Brown University.
Oliverio Girondo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1891, and the author of seven innovative books of poetry. He traveled often to Europe where he forged ties with the French Symbolists and the Spanish avant-garde. Girondo eventually died from injuries sustained in a 1964 car accident in 1967.
This, TheMidnight, MyEmilyDickinson, TheQuarry, and TheBirthmark.
Sylvia Legris was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and now lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Conjunctions, and Granta, and her third collection of poetry, Nerve Squall, won the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Bernadette Mayer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and received her B.A. from the New School for Social Research in 1967. She is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry including ETHICS OF SLEEP (2011), Poetry State Forest (2008), Scarlet Tanager (2005), Two Haloed Mourners (1998), ANOTHER SMASHED PINECONE (1998), Proper Name and Other Stories (1996), The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994), The Bernadette Mayer Reader (1992), The Formal Field of Kissing (1990), Sonnets (1989), Midwinter Day (1982), The Golden Book of Words (1978), and CEREMONY LATIN (1964). From 1972 to 1974, Mayer and conceptual artist Vito Acconci edited the journal 0 TO 9, and in 1977 she established United Artists Press with the poet Lewis Warsh. She has taught writing workshops at The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in New York City for many years, and she served as the Poetry Project's director during the 1980s. Bernadette Mayer lives in East Nassau, New York.
Dunya Mikhail was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and moved to the United States thirty years later in 1995. After graduating from the University of Baghdad, she worked as a journalist and translator for the Baghdad Observer. Facing censorship and interrogation, she left Iraq, first to Jordan and then to America, settling in Detroit. New Directions published her books The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq, The Iraqi Nights, Diary of A Wave Outside the Sea, and The War Works Hard--chosen as one the New York Public Library's Books to Remember in 2005--as well as her edited volume, 15 Iraqi Poets. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Knights Foundation grant, a Kresge Fellowship, and the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing, and works as a special lecturer of Arabic at Oakland University in Michigan.
Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972) was a leading voice in twentieth-century Latin American poetry. Born in Avellaneda to Russian-Jewish immigrants, Pizarnik studied literature and painting at the University of Buenos Aires and spent most of her life in Argentina. In 1960, she moved to Paris, where she was influenced by the work of the Surrealists and participated in a vibrant expatriate community of writers that included Julio Cortazar and Octavio Paz. Known primarily for her poetry, Pizarnik also wrote experimental fiction, plays, a literary diary, and works of criticism. She died in Buenos Aires, of an apparent drug overdose, at the age of thirty-six.
The American poet Nathaniel Tarn was born in Paris in 1928 and emigrated to the US in 1970, where he has lived ever since, mostly in the New Mexican desert. A leading anthropologist for many years and a pioneering translator of Pablo Neruda and Victor Segalen, Tarn, "one of the most outstanding poets of his generation" (Kenneth Rexroth), has published more than thirty books of poetry, essays, and translations--including most recently, The Beautiful Contradictions and Ins and Outs of the Forest Rivers, both available from New Directions.
Eliot Weinberger is an essayist, editor, and translator. He lives in New York City.
Lydia Davis was born in Northampton, Massachusetts and educated at Barnard College. Her novels and short stories have received numerous awards, including the Whiting Foundation Writers' Award for Fiction, the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and the Man Booker International Prize. Her collection, Varieties of Disturbance: Stories was a National Book Award finalist. She has also produced several new translations of French literary classics, including Proust's Swann's Way and Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Davis is one of only three authors to have their work featured in the Best American Short Stories and the Best American Poetry series.