Nikola Madzirov: Nikola Madzirov (poet, essayist, translator) is one of the most powerful voices of the new European poetry. He was born in a family of Balkan Wars refugees in 1973 in Strumica, R. Macedonia. His poetry has been translated into thirty languages and published in collections and anthologies in US, Europe and Asia. In 2012, he was selected to represent Macedonia at Poetry Parnassus, an international celebration of poetry as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in London. For his poetry book Relocated Stone (2007) he received the Hubert Burda European poetry award for authors born in East Europe (the jury was chaired by Peter Handke and Michael Krüger), and the most prestigious Macedonian poetry prize Miladinov Brothers at Struga Poetry Evenings. For the book Locked in the City (1999) he was given the Studentski Zbor award for the best debut, while for the collection of poems Somewhere Nowhere (1999) the Aco Karamanov prize. According to his poetry two short films were shot in Bulgaria and Croatia. The contemporary jazz composer and collaborator of Björk and Lou Reed, Oliver Lake, has composed music based on Madzirov's poems which was performed at the Jazz-Poetry Concert in Pittsburgh in 2008.
Nikola Madzirov has participated at many international literary festivals and events in US, Latin America and Europe and has received several international awards and fellowships such as International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa in US; Literarisches Tandem in Berlin; KultuKontakt fellowship in Vienna; Internationales Haus der Autoren in Graz; Literatur Haus NÖ in Krems and Villa Waldberta in Munich. He is one of the coordinators of the world poetry network Lyrikline. In June 2012, Madzirov was chosen out of more than 6,000 recommended poets to participate in the Olympic Poetry Parnassus in Southbank Centre, London, called the biggest gathering of poets in world history.
Carolyn Forché: Carolyn Forché was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1950. She studied at Michigan State University and earned an MFA from Bowling Green State University. Forché is the author of four books of poetry: Blue Hour (HarperCollins, 2004); The Angel of History (1994), which received the Los Angeles Times Book Award; The Country Between Us (1982), which received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets; and Gathering the Tribes (1976), which was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by Stanley Kunitz. She is also the editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (1993). Among her translations are Mahmoud Darwish's Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems with Munir Akash (2003), Claribel Alegria's Flowers from the Volcano (1983), and Robert Desnos's Selected Poetry (with William Kulik, 1991). Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1992, she received the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum. Carolyn Forché teaches in the MFA Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.