Philip Terry translates Michele Metail’s collection of assemblage descriptions of people using ready-made language, which are referred to as “Portrait Robot,” a reference to an invention in 1950 in France of the Identifit or Photofit Picture used by police and the judiciary to reconstitute a broad outline of a suspect’s face.
Michèle Métail, born in France in 1950, is a Sinologist, a photographer, and an avant-garde poet. She was the first female member of Oulipo and the co-founder of Dixit, a group dedicated to sound poetry. She is the author of two dozen books of poetry and translations from the Chinese, which she often performs accompanied by music and projected images.
This book is translated by Philip Terry, who is a poet and translator. He was born in Belfast. He is currently the director of the Center for Creative Writing at the University of Essex in England.