Sony Labou Tansi (1947–95) was a Congolese novelist, poet, and dramatist, and a member of the African avant-garde. He was born in Kimwanza, Zaire, and in 1971 was appointed to teach French and English at Kindauba. In the same year he started to write seriously. In 1979 Tansi founded the Rocardo Zulu Theatre and published his first novel, La Vie et demie, which won the Prix Spécial du Festival de la Francophonie. His plays were staged in Paris, Dakar, and New York. Tansi won several literary awards, including the Grand Prix Littéraire de l'Afrique Noire for L'anté-peuple, the Palme de la Francophonie in 1985 for Les sept solitudes de Lorsa Lopez, and in 1988 the Ibsen Foundation Prize.
Kristin Prevallet is a poet, writer, and performer whose recent books include I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time (Essay Press, 2007); D'un Devenir Fantome: Formes poetique en temps de deuil (traduction collective de l'american au cipM relue par Emmanuel Hocquard & Juliette Valery, Un bureau sur l'Atlantique, 2006); and Shadow Evidence Intelligence (Factory School, 2006). She edited and introduced A Helen Adam Reader (National Poetry Foundation). From 2004-2006 she was a coeditor of DoubleChange.com, a Web journal featuring the French/American exchange of poetry and poetics in translation. She received a 2004 PEN translation fund award and a 2007 fellowship for poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.www.kayvallet.com
Raymond G. Hounfodji is a doctoral candidate in French Studies at the University of Arizona. He writes original works in both French and English. His academic interests include francophone literature, oral African literature, literary critique, and eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century French literature. For his dissertation, he is examining the new paradigms of the political discourse in contemporary African novels and contrasting how African writers and those in the diaspora elaborate upon politics in their narratives. He has published several book reviews in Etudes Littéraires Africaines and some poems on the Web.