Gilles Ortlieb was born in Morocco in 1953. He returned to France in the 1960s where he studied Classics at the Sorbonne, before switching to modern Greek. At this period he travelled widely in the Mediterranean, with a predilection for Greece. In 1986 he moved to Luxembourg, where for many years he worked in the translation service of the EU.
He has published over thirty books, ranging from collections of poems and notebooks to an account of Baudelaire in Belgium (Au Grand Miroir, 2005), two volumes of critical essays, and a prize-winning meditation on the post-industrial landscape of Lorraine, Tombeau des anges (2011). A prolific translator from modern Greek (Solomos, Cavafy, Valtinos), he is currently at work on a multi-volume translation of the diaries of George Seferis, to be published by Éditions le Bruit du temps.