Jaan Kaplinski (b. 1941) is one of Estonia's most well-known writers and an influential member of society. He is known particularly as a poet, essayist and as an active participant in cultural debate. His works have been translated into several languages. The philosophical poetry of Kaplinski is influenced by both western modernism and classical Chinese poetry and philosophy. Kaplinski studied philology and linguistics at the University of Tartu from where he graduated in 1964. He has worked as a researcher in linguistics, sociology and ecology and has translated poetry from many languages into Estonian.