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.
Joshua L. Freeman is a historian and translator, and is currently a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. He received his PhD at Harvard University, where his dissertation focused on Uyghur cultural history in twentieth-century China. His translations of contemporary Uyghur poetry have appeared in Words Without Borders, Asymptote, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. More of his translations can be found at his website.