Armand Schwerner was born in Belgium in 1927 and came to New York with his family in 1936. He taught at the College of Staten Island, in the City University of New York. In addition to The Tablets, his most famous work (a series of poems which claim to be fictional reconstructions of ancient Sumero-Akkadian inscriptions, complete with lacunae and “untranslatable” words), Schwerner published eight other volumes of poetry during his lifetime. Schwerner published translations from Hawaiian, American Indian, and other tribal and archaic sources, along with a well-received translation of Sophocles’s Philoctetes. At the time of his death in 1999, he was working on a translation of Dante’s Inferno, sections of which have appeared in various literary journals.