Author of over fifteen collections of poetry and seven volumes of fiction,Jean Daivehas been an important voice in French letters for over 35 years. His first publication, Décimale blanche, which came out in 1967, received much attention, and was greatly admired--and translated--by Cid Corman, who introduced it to Lorine Niedecker. Daive's subsequent volumes have often been serial—Narration d’équilibre, Trilogie du temps, La Condition d’infini. Each explores a specific concept and/or formal question across three or more volumes. His work has received extensive critical attention both in full-length volumes and numerous articles. Also a translator, he has published translations of Celan and Creeley, among others. Daive has also exerted much influence through his decades of work in radio as a producer at France Culture, as president of the Centre international de Poésie à Marseille (le CiPM), and as the founder and editor of three successive poetry journals, Fragment in 1969, fig. in 1989, and Fin in 1999. He lives and works in Paris.

Norma Cole, born and raised in Canada, has been involved with contemporary French poetry since the late 60s. In addition to books by Anne Portugal, Danielle Collobert, Fouad Gabriel Naffah, and Emmanuel Hocquard, she has translated a volume of critical work, Crosscut Universe (Burning Deck, 2000) and a book of interviews with Jean Daive. A student at New College of California in the 80s and a close associate of Robert Duncan’s, Cole has published over ten volumes of poetry, including a selected, Where Shadows Will (City Lights, 2009), and a volume of critical essays, To Be At Music (Omnidawn 2010). Her most recent collection is Win These Posters and Unrelated Prizes Inside (Omnidawn 2012). Cole is also a visual artist, and her multi-media practice has informed several cross-media projects, from a CD-rom, SCOUT, (Krupskaya, 2004) to her much-vaunted four-month installation Collective Memory, which took the rich history of poetry and visual arts in the San Francisco Bay Area as its launching point (California Historical Society, 2004-2005). She lives and works in San Francisco.
All the children are swaddled

​as white
dried beans
sheltered from the air

for time
even recycles 
of jam

Indian graves
at lake

and upon this memory

a ball rolls
up to the sacred

The golfers
​among the corpses.

La Presse

InA Woman with Several Lives, Jean Daive's eye attends Niedecker's world with a poet's neighborly thoughtfulness. His acts of observation become a form of devoted objectivist observance, as in "the window has a religion / based entirely in localizing / the leaves of a tree." Norma Cole's translation beautifully captures the reflected and refracted text, the glancing of multiple meanings against the turn of the line. The process reveals the charged air of perception and equivocation within the complex architecture of the lived poem.

---  Elizabeth Willis