Francois Cheng was born in 1929 in Shangdong Province, China. He moved to France in 1949 and was elected to the Academie Francaise in 2002. He is a translator, calligrapher, and essayist, best known for his essays on Chinese art and poetry, as well as a renowned poet. He is the author of several novels and The Way of Beauty, a companion volume to Five Meditations on Death. Jody Gladding is a poet and translator. She has published three full-length collections of poetry and translated nearly 30 books from French. Her awards and honors include MacDowell and Stegner Fellowships, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Yale Younger Poets Prize. She lives in Vermont.