Milan Dekleva (1946), poet, writer, playwright, essayist and translator, was born in Ljubljana to Triestine Slovene parents. He is also a musician and was a member of the 1970's group Salamander, with which he has recently been performing again. He studied comparative literature and literary theory at the University of Ljubljana, then worked as a music pedagogue, journalist and editor. He is a full member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is the author of twenty-seven poetry collections, eight novels, three books of short stories, and three essay collections. As a poet he looks to the early phases of European thought and Eastern philosophies and in doing so uses paradoxes and practices from musical improvisation. Through his poetry he reveals a holistic view of the world, the universe, nature and man. In his narrative fiction he talks mostly about the lives of individuals that find themselves at personal, social and historic turning points. He also writes librettos for operas, lyrics for cantatas, theatre, puppet and radio plays, songs, tales and musicals for children, and translates from English, Italian, Croatian and Serbian. He has received numerous awards, among others the Prešeren Lifetime Achievement Award.