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Translation - Summer 2002

Johannes BeilharzJohannes Beilharz writes in German and English, paints and translates. He is the founder and editor of an international literature and art forum on the Internet http://www.geocities.com/johbeil/ and a literature editor for Open Directory Project (dmoz.org). He lives in Vöhringen, Germany.

Blaise CendrarsBlaise Cendrars was born Frédéric-Louis Sauser to a Scottish mother and a Swiss father on the 1st of September 1887 in the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds. His life from that point on is filled with a myriad of searches in the form of voyages, jobs, hobbies, but mostly writings; poetry, prose, collage, journalistic accounts, meditations and travelogues. His pseudonym, Blaise Cendrars (coming from the words blaze and ashes), reflects his brazen interest in life and his enormous energy as he circumvented the globe discovering its many streets, its artisans and its ways. In 1904 he left home and went to Moscow, just in time for the Revolution of 1905. He traveled to China, throughout Russia and the Caucuses, then going to Paris in 1910 and then on to New York in 1911. He has been grouped together with the 20th century surrealists such as André Breton, Lois Aragon and Phillipe Soupault, especially due to his experimentation with the conventional poetic form and his concern with art and it?s status and meaning in modern culture, but his literary connections are by no means limited to that circle. In 1961 Cendrars was awarded the Paris Grand Prix for literature and died soon after on January 21st of the same year.

Rita Dahl was born in 1971 and is a Finnish freelance journalist and criticHer poems have appeared in various Finnish and foreign literary magazines and anthologies in Alaska, Australia, United Kingdom, Portugal, and the United States. She graduated in Political Science from the University of Helsinki and has also a Bachelor´s Degree in Comparative Literature. At the moment she is preparing her thesis on Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.

Wolfgang HilbigWolfgang Hilbigwas born in 1941 in the coal-mining region of Meuselwitz, Saxony; his father fell in the Battle of Stalingrad. Hilbig grew up in a working-class milieu and worked in East Germany's industrial wasteland; his densely poetic texts literally emerged from the boiler-room. He was too independent and his work too apocalyptic to make him a candidate for the new breed of working-class poets fostered by the GDR. In 1985 Hilbig moved to West Germany, but has remained a profoundly East German writer. This spring, it was announced that the author, Wolfgang Hilbig, will be this year's winner of the Büchner-Preis - Germany's most prestigious literary award. Hilbig's work has been translated into a number of European and Asian languages; the only major work of his to appear in English was the novella “Knacker's Yard”, published several years ago in Grand Street (Issue 48).

Maureen Holm Maureen Holm, a poet, linguist, and arts lawyer, is a principal in the international arts consortium, p h i l o p h o n e m a ™ (producers of Lyric Recovery Festival™ at Carnegie Hall), and Senior Essayist and Articles Editor for Big City Lit™ (see our previous feature). Recent poetry and essay publications include Southern California Anthology (USC), poetrybay.com, Paris/Atlantic, Rattapallax, Lagniappe (SUNY Buffalo). One of her pieces was recently selected by Robert Mezey for an Honorable Mention in the Ann Stanford competition. She lives in Manhattan. In this issue, she is represented by her original poems in French, along with her translation of them into English and her translation of Paul Valéry.

Ekaterina Likhtik Ekaterina Likhtik has been translating for several years but this is her first publication. She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved to the United States in late October 1987. After graduating college, she moved to Paris in 1999 and was going to stay there if life hadn't taken her to Haifa, Israel, a little over a year later on the anniversary of her grandfather's death in March 2000. Throughout this time, Ekaterina was conducting research and studying neuroscience at the Salpêtriêre Hospital in Paris and then at the Technion in Haifa. She is currently beginning her second year of graduate studies in neuroscience and electrophysiology.

Walle Sayer Walle Sayer was born 1960 in Bierlingen near Tübingen. He lives in Dettingen near Horb on the Neckar. Apprenticeship in banking, practical year in a kindergarten, civil service, odd jobs, taught German classes, responsible for child care in the central asylum seekers home in Horb, night attendant in a clinic for psychosomatic patients, manager of a cultural cafe in Horb from 1985 to 1991, free-lance writer since 1992. Walle Sayer has won several prestigious German poetry awards and scholarships. He has published numerous collections of poetry and poetic prose. The poems translated are from Irrläufer, Klöpfer & Meyer Verlag, Tübingen 2000.

Miia Toivio is a Finnish translator. She is represented in this issue by her translations of Rita Dahl.

Paul ValeryPaul Valéry was born in 1871. As a young man, he became friends with Stéphane Mallarmé and frequented his artistic circle, while writing a number of poems which were published and favorably reviewed. However, due to an unhappy love affair and artistic frustration, he renounced poetry in 1892 and turned his attention to the scientific method and the nature of language and consciousness. He was a civil servent in the French War Office, and then a private secretary to the director of the French press association. He was married in 1900 to a close friend of Mallarmé's daughter. In 1912, he was persuaded by Andre Gide, another literary friend, to revise some early work for publication. In the course of his revisions, Valéry began La Jeune Parque. Originally intended to be a valedictory poem for the collection, the poem became a long symbolic work which took Valéry five years to complete. The publication of the poem in 1917 made him famous, and with the subsequent publication of Album de vers ancients, 1890-1900 and Charmes ou poèmes he was established as the greatest French poet of his time. He wrote little poetry of consequence after 1922. In later life, he became known as a public personage and distinguished commentator on any number of issues and at his death in 1945 was given a full state funeral.