Fernando Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888 and was brought up in Durban, South Africa. In 1905 he returned to Lisbon where he matriculated at the University, and continued to read and write in English. He published in 1918 35 Sonnets and in 1922 the three parts of his English Poems, all composed many years before. The rest of his life passed uneventfully in Lisbon. The only book published in his lifetime was Mensagem, a collection of poems on patriotic themes which won a consolation prize in a national competition. Pessoa also wrote under three pseudonyms, Alberto Caeiro, Alvaro de Campos and Ricardo Reis, whose biographies he invented.
Richard Zenith lives in Lisbon, where he works as a freelance writer, translator, and critic. His translations include Galician-Portuguese troubadour poetry, novels by Antonio Lobo Antunes, Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet, and Fernando Pessoa and Co - Selected Poems, which won the 1999 American PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.