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Born in Switzerland and a longtime resident of France, Philippe Jaccottet (b. 1925) has long been considered one of Europes premiere poets. The present selection draws from his four most recent volumes of poems and prose poems: Cahier de verdure (Notebook of Greenery, 1990), Apres beaucoup d'annees (After Many Years, 1994), Et, neanmoins (And, Nonetheless, 2001) and Ce peu de bruits (These Slight Noises, 2008). He has translated numerous German, Italian and Spanish poets into French. He is also the author of several volumes of literary criticism, and has written Le bol du pelerin (The Pilgrim's Bowl, 2001), a study of the art of Giorgio Morandi. His collected writings are soon to be published as a volume in Gallimard's "Pleiade" series, a rare honor for a living author. He has been awarded several European literary prizes, including the Petrarch Prize and the Schiller Prize, Switzerland's highest literary distinction.
Michael Hamburger was born on March 22, 1924 in Berlin, Germany. His family moved to the United Kingdom in 1933 as Adolf Hitler was coming to power. He attended Christ Church, Oxford, where he read modern languages (French and German). During World War II, he was drafted in the army as an infantryman. After the war, he held a series of teaching positions, initially in Germanic studies, on both sides of the Atlantic, including University College London, Reading University, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, and the University of California at San Diego. He was the author of more than 20 volumes of poetry and many volumes of essays including Flowering Cactus, Collected Poems, and String of Beginnings. He was also a critic and translator of German works. He received numerous translation awards including the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, the Goethe Medal in 1986, and the European Translation Prize in 1990. He died on June 7, 2007 at the age of 83.