Tomas Venclova, born in Klaipėda (Lithuania) in 1937, is a Lithuanian poet and essayist. He emigrated from Lithuania (then occupied by the USSR) in 1977 as a member of the dissident movement. He taught Russian, Polish and Lithuanian literature at Yale University for many years, and is now a Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures there. A winner of several national and international prizes, he has published more than fifty books. His works include volumes of poetry, essays, literary biography and conversations. His poetry, written exclusively in Lithuanian, has been translated into twenty-odd languages, including English, Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.).