Nazim Hikmet was born in Salonika. After participating in the Struggle for National Independence, he taught school for a brief period and then studied economics and sociology in Moscow (1922--34). After returning to Turkey, he worked as a journalist and in a film studio. He was in continual trouble with the Turkish authorities during the thirties because of his adherence to communism, and in 1938 he was sentenced to a 20-year term in prison. Released in 1950---partly because of world opinion---he left Turkey and lived in exile until his death in 1963. Hikmet's poetry (he also wrote plays) represents a complete break with the traditional heritage and a full acceptance of occidental models. Much of his work was inspired outside of Turkey and reached a universal dimension; nevertheless, the land and people of Turkey figure prominently as sources of inspiration. He has been especially well received in France via translation. Ironically, most of his work has appeared in Turkey only since his death.
Randy Blasing, a former National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, is the author of seven books of poetry, including Choice Words: Poems 1970-2005. He is also the eminent translator, alongside Mutlu Konuk, of the renowned Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. He lives in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Carolyn Forchï¿½, poet, translator, and activist, is professor of English at Georgetown University. She has published two award-winning volumes of poetry, Gathering the Tribes and The Country Between Us. In 1990 Ms. Fourchï¿½ received a Lannan Literary Award, granted to poets and writers of literary excellence "whose work promotes a truer understanding of contemporary life." Her most recent volume of poetry is Blue Hour.