Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944–2007) remains one of the Arab world's best-known and influential contemporary poets. Born into an Iraqi Assyrian family and growing up in Al-Habbaniyah, Kirkuk, and Baghdad, he started publishing his own work in 1961, in the ground-breaking Shi'r [Poetry] magazine in Beirut. After settling in San Francisco in the late 1960s, he began translating most of the major English-language modern poets, and many others, into Arabic, and dedicated his life to reading, writing, and translating poetry. He died in Berlin in October 2007.
Sinan Antoon (Baghdad, 1967) is a poet, novelist, scholar, and translator. He holds degrees from Baghdad, Georgetown, and Harvard, where he earned a doctorate in Arabic literature. He has published two collections of poetry and four novels. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book, In the Presence of Absence, won the 2012 American Literary Translators’ Award. His translation of his own novel, The Corpse Washer, won the 2014 Saif Ghobash Prize for Literary Translation and was longlisted for the International Prize for Foreign Fiction. His scholarly works include The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf (Palgrave, 2014). He has published op-eds in The Guardian, New York Times, and various Arab publications. He is co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya. He is an associate professor at New York University. He was a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2016/17. Twitter: @sinanantoon