Francis Combes was born on May 31, 1953, in Marvejols, Lozère (France).
He holds a degree in Political Science (1974) and has studied Eastern languages (Russian, Chinese and Hungarian).
From 1981 to 1992, he was the literary editor of Messidor publishing house and one of the managers of Europe magazine. He has participated in the editing committee of Europe, Aujourd’hui poème and Commune magazines.
1993, together with a group of writers, he founded Le Temps des Cerises publishing house, becoming its director. This publishing house publishes fifty books a year, one third of which are poetry books.
He has committed himself to the defense of independent publishing, and in 2003, he was one of the founders of L’Autre livre association, which has a little over one hundred independent publisher affiliates. He was president of the association until February 2012.
As a poet, he has published fifteen selections of poems, anthologies and several works in prose.
Some of his poems have been translated into different languages (Arab, English, German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese and Spanish).
His first book, Apprentis du printemps, has been translated into Arab by Tahar Ouettar, and published in Algeria (two editions). His recent work, Cause commune, has been published in England, translated into English by Alan Dent (Common cause, Smokestack, 2010).
He has published two novels (Bal masqué sur minitel and La Romance de Marc et Leïla), a book of interviews with a philosopher (Conversation avec Henri Lefebvre), and a great number of anthologies (Les plus beaux poèmes pour la paix, Cent-un poèmes contre le racisme, Cent un poèmes d’amour, La poésie est dans la rue, etc).
His latest published selections of poems, in 2011, were Le Vin des hirondelles (published by Le Petit Pavé), L’Aubépine, cent-un sonnet pour un amour frondeur (published by Le Préau des collines), Poèmes du Nouveau monde (Ecrits des Forges/Québec) and La Barque du pêcheur (published by Al Manar, 20912).
For fifteen years, he has enrolled himself, together with poet Gérard Cartier, in the poetry posters campaign in the Paris subway.
He has worked with musicians (primarily with the Chilean composer Sergio Ortega) and written songs as well as opera and musical librettos that have been presented on stage.
He has translated Maïakovski, Heine, Brecht, Attila Jozsef, the American poet Jack Hirschman amongst others into French, and has also adapted poets from different countries (Czech, Spanish, Persian, etc.).
He has frequently participated in lectures and has been invited to several festivals (Lodève, Trois Rivières in Québec, San Francisco, Montreal, Sarajevo, Struga, Naples, etc).
In December 2011, he was named director of the Poetry International Festival in Val-de-Marne, France.