I notice that the most recent contributors to introduce themselves did so quite a long time ago. But here goes (even if nobody actually reads this): I’m Kevin Maynard, a recently retired teacher of English, Latin and Mandarin (mainly of English). Retirement means that I’m now able to devote most of my time to translating classical Chinese poetry (as well as writing, and occasionally publishing—if only in little magazines—my own much less interesting stuff).
As for European poetry, my first love is Spanish, and my second, German: though, I hasten to add, I tend in the main to read poets from both traditions in bilingual editions.
Although, on the few occasions when I’ve submitted translations, I’ve never managed to be placed in the Spender competitions, I have received favourable judge’s mentions on two occasions. I like hill- and mountain-walking; I’m passionate about music (particularly the entire piano repertoire on the one hand, and, on the other, lieder, melodies, and the ‘art song’ in general); I spend a lot of my time in art galleries, and watching films (with or without sub-titles).
I must admit, I don’t think I’ve ever read Dylan Thomas in bed, but a few of his best poems never went out of fashion for me: though I’m more of an Auden / Larkin / Heaney / O’Brien fan myself. At the same time, where poems being written in my native language are concerned, I find the best ‘modern’ American poets just so much more lively and interesting than the vast majority of British poets writing recently or at present (good though many of them are): who over here can hold a candle to Louis Simpson, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Gluck, W S Merwin, C K Williams, Mark Strand, Charles Simic, Franz Wright, B H Fairchild, and a whole host of others?