José Luiz Tavares was born in 1967 in Tarrafal on Santiago Island, Cape Verde. He studied Literature and Philosophy and received the 2004 Mário António Poetry Award for his book Paraíso Apagado por um Trovão, awarded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for the best work written by an African author in the Portuguese language. He also won the Literary Award for All from the Brazilian Education Ministry (2008-2010), the BCA/Academia Caboverdeana de Letras Award (2016) and the 2018 Vasco Graça Moura/Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda Award, among several others. His books have been translated into English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Catalan, Latvian, Finnish, Russian and Welsh. Tavares served as a jury member for the Camões Prize in 2017 and 2018.