Gabriel Okoundji was born in Okondo-Ewo in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) in 1962 in the family of a Teke chief (hence his title, Mwene). He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Grand Prix Litteraire d'Afrique noire (2010) and the Prix Special de l'Academie nationale des Belles Lettres, Art et Sciences de Bordeaux (2011). Peter Figueroa, was born in Jamaica and has held university posts in the West Indies, Australia and the UK. He retired from the Chair of Education at Southampton shortly before his death in 2011. He was a poet and well known for his academic work on the sociology of race. Peter's partner, Carol Sanders, helped to complete the translation.