Andrew Seguin translated Jean Follain (1903 – 1971) who was an iconic French writer, poet, and corporate lawyer. Follain joined an artist’s group from the review Sagesse and collaborated with these creators to publish in literary journals. He also traveled all over the world such as Thailand, Japan, Brazil, Peru, and the United States. Later in his carrier, he worked for the French PEN Club.
Seguin is a poet, translator, and photographer. He is the author of a full-length poetry collection, The Room In Which I Work (Omnidawn, 2017), and two chapbooks: Black Anecdote (Poetry Society of America, 2010) and NN (Tammy, 2016).
Seguin’s photographic translation is mesmerizing in capturing the truthfulness of Follain’s lamentation. “The emaciated man walking along/ready for war/tramples similar triumphant vegetation;/then hearing all the shouts of children/who are playing in the mist/he has had enough/of living and misusing it all”, from The Plant. Follain lived through two major wars and historical turning points. Now Seguin reintroduces Follain’s work and reminds us where we might be heading.