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Sheila Fischman was born in Saskatchewan and educated in Toronto; she now resides in Quebec. A co-founder of Ellipse: Writers in Translation / Oeuvres en traduction and a founding member of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada, she has also been a columnist for the Toronto Globe & Mail and the Montreal Gazette and a broadcaster with CBC Radio. She has translated more than one hundred works, principally novels, from French to English, by such contemporary Quebec writers as Yves Beauchemin, Lise Bissonette, Marie-Claire Blais, Roch Carrier, François Gravel, Anne Hébert, and numerous others. Twice she has won the Canada Council Translation Prize, and many times has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Translation Prize. She has twice won the Félix-Antoine Savard Prize (Translation Center, Columbia University), and in 1998 was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation. She holds two honorary doctorates and is a member of the Order of Canada.

Benjamin Gantcher lives in New York City.

Susan Garrett is at work on a memoir about photographers in the early 20th century, from which “Quick-Eyed Love” is adapted. She is the author of TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN: A Year in the Life of a Small Hospital (Dutton) and MILES TO GO: Aging in Rural Virginia (University Press of Virginia). Her essay “On Lucy Gray’s Photography” appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 4, No. 1.

Kevin J. Kinsella is a poet and translator living in Brooklyn, New York. He received the B.A. in Comparative Literature from the New School for Social Research and the M.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He recently completed a translation of Osip Mandelshtam’s TRISTIA. Most recently, his translations and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in The Drunken Boat, 3rd Bed, and Cavalcade.

Gretchen McCullough was raised in Harlingen, Texas. After graduating from Brown University in 1984, she taught in Egypt, Turkey, and Japan. She earned her M.F.A from the University of Alabama in 1995, and was awarded a Fulbright Lectureship to Syria for 1997-99. Excerpts of her novel, THE CLEOPATRA SCHOOL, have been published in The Texas Review and Alaska Quarterly Review. A radio essay about her experiences in Syria was aired in April 2000 on “All Things Considered.” She teaches at the American University in Cairo. Her essay “Syria: Living in Wild and Marvelous Stories,” appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 5, No. 1.

Osip E. Mandelshtam was born in Warsaw in 1891 but brought up in St. Petersburg. He studied at Heidelberg University and the University of St. Petersburg. The first volume of his poetry, STONE, appeared in 1913 and was followed by TRISTIA (1922) and POEMS (1928). After writing a bitter epigram about Stalin, he was exiled to the Urals where he attempted suicide. In 1937 he was freed to return to Moscow with his wife, but in May 1938 he was rearrested and sentenced to five years’ hard labor. His heart was bad and it is likely that he was suffering from a severe nervous breakdown. He died, probably on December 27, 1938, in obscure circumstances en route to the Vladivostok labor camp.

Gaétan Soucy (b. 1958) has written three novels. The first two, L'Immaculée conception (1994, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION) and L'Acquittement (1997, ATONEMENT) were considered “extraordinary, dark and baroque, and not the least because of their language.” L’Acquittement won le Grand Prix du livre de Montréal in 1998. The third, La Petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes (2000, THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS TOO FOND OF MATCHES) has been translated into at least ten languages, including Spanish and Chinese, and is said to be the first Canadian novel ever to be nominated for the Prix Renaudot, France. “The narrator of the novel is a little boy who only knows of the world from books, such as the memoirs of Saint-Simon and the ethics of Spinoza. It is magic-realistic story of two brothers who have lived in isolation and suddenly have to confront the outside world when their father commits suicide.” He teaches philosophy in Montréal.


News of Our Contributors

Edith Grossman has been Highly Commended for the Premio Valle Inclan, sponsored by the British Society of Authors, for her translation of Mayra Montero’s THE MESSENGER (Harvill, 2000). The translator of such authors as García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Mayra Montero, Augusto Monterroso, Julián Ríos, and the anti-poet Nicanor Parra, she is translating Cervantes’ DON QUIXOTE. Edith Grossman is a Contributing Editor of Archipelago. Her translation of of a chapter from MÚSICA PARA OLVIDAR UNA ISLA, by Victoria Slavuski, appeared in Vol. 2, No. 1.

George Quasha, poet and publisher of Station Hill Press, has notified us of the death of Spencer Holst (1926-2001), whose story “The Zebra Storyteller” appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 3, No. 1. We join George Quasha in his sadness for the loss of this remarkable writer and man. His remembrance of Spencer Holst appears in Letters to the Editor.

Gabriele Leidloff, whose radiograph of the life mask of Goethe appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 2, No. 3, presents her video work as artist in residence at the Franklin Furnace, New York City, in its series The Future of the Present 2001. “Gabriele Leidloff initiated the forum l o g - i n / l o c k e d o u t as an artistic production. l o g - i n / l o c k e d o u t invites artists, neuroscientists, and entrepreneurs into a dialogue. This dialogue manifests itself through exhibitions, debates, and salons creating a series of events for participants and their artistic and scientific work.”

Maria Negroni, whose poems have appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 1, No. 1, and Vol. 2, No. 4, has won the The Octavio Paz Fellowship for Poetry 2001-2002. A dual-language volume of ISLANDIA, translated by Anne Twitty, was published recently by Station Hill Press. More information about the Octavio Paz Fellowship for Poetry is available on the internet at the site of the Fundacion Octavio Paz.

Eleanor Ross Taylor, a selection of whose poems appeared in Archipelago, Vol. 3, No. 1, is the subject of THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER, Essays on the Poetry of Eleanor Ross Taylor, edited by Jean Valentine, just published by Hobart and William Smith College Press. Eleanor Ross Taylor is the author of five volumes of poems: WILDERNESS OF LADIES (1960); WELCOME EUMENIDES (1972); NEW AND SELECTED POEMS (1983); DAYS GOING / DAYS COMING BACK (1992); and LATE LEISURE (1999), from which the Archipelago selection came. Writers contributing to this volume of “bright hommage” include Betty Adcock, Fred Chappell, Ben Cleary, Alfredo Franco, Lorrie Goldensohn, Eric Gudas, James Harms, Richard Howard, Randall Jarrell, Heather Ross Miller, Gregory Orr, Adrienne Rich, Deborah Tall, Henry Taylor, Jean Valentine, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Rosanna Warren, and Alan Williamson.

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