Helmut Maria Soik was born in Schwenningen, Germany, on July 12, 1911. In 1932, he published his cycle of poems "Die lichte Spur." Soik was imprisoned in Russia during World War II and returned to Germany in 1950. His work "Die zerbrochene Balalaika" reflects on his personal experience throughout the war. In 1976, Soik gained popularity in the US when his book "Rimbaud under the Steel Helmet" was translated into English. Soik died on June 14, 1989.
Ernst Meister, German poet and writer, was born on September 3, 1911. He studied theology, literature, art history, and philosophy (the latter under Karl Löwith and Hans-Georg Gadamer) at various German universities before enlisting as a soldier in the German army. He used his war experiences in many of his poems, stories, radio plays, and stage plays, developing a darkly abstract existentialist style. His first major publication, "Ausstellung," appeared in 1932. After "Ausstellung," he did not publish any works for two decades. His next works appear beginning in 1953, and between that year and 1979, he produced more than 16 volumes of verse as well as a number of other literary and visual works. Meister’s poetry is noted for its brevity and difficult syntax and has been compared to the work of his contemporary, Romanian poet Paul Celan (1920-1970). In spite of his prolific output, Meister was not involved with the literary and cultural elite of his time, and his works were relatively unknown during his lifetime. He did, however, receive a number of awards in his lifetime, including the Annette von Droste-Hulshoff Prize in 1957, the Great Art Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1963, the Petrarch Prize in 1976, and the Rainer Maria Rilke Prize for Poetry jointly with Sarah Kirsch in 1978. Meister posthumously received the most prestigious award in German literature, the Georg Büchner Prize, shortly after his death on June 15, 1979. [Adapted from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Meister]
Tatjana Warren was Helmut Soik's step-sister, and played a role in introducing his poetry to American publishers. She lived in Los Angeles.