Tahir Hamut was born in 1969 in a small town near Kashgar, in the southwest of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. He published his first poem in 1986, and has since been recognized as one of the foremost modernist poets writing in Uyghur. His poetry has appeared in translation in Asymptote, Off the Coast, Crazy Horse, and elsewhere. Since the late '90s he has worked as a film director, founding his own production company and achieving recognition for his feature films, documentaries, and other projects. He currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two daughters.
Darren Byler is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington, where he teaches courses on the aesthetics and politics of urban life in Chinese Central Asia. His translations have appeared in Guernica, Pathlight, and Banango Street.
Dilmurat Mutellip is a modernist poetry critic and translator in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Since 2017, when Chinese state authorities began a mass internment campaign directed at Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities, his friends and colleagues have lost contact with him. As with hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals, his current location and wellbeing are unknown.