René Tavernier published his first poems before the Second World War in the ''New French Review'', immediately noticed by Jean Wahl, which brought him recognition by Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Paul Sartre.
A friend of a friend of Vladimir Jankélévitch, the French philosopher and poet fled to the United States after having escaped from the Drancy camp where he was interned.
Joining writers and journalists during the war led him to Lyon in the neighborhood where he directed Montchat Confluences - A journal on "Literature and Arts" - founded by Jacques Aubenque between July 1941 and 1943. It is in this review, which included as the "original purpose" to "bring together writers and ideas from diverse backgrounds in the service of humanism" that he published the poems of Pierre Emmanuel, Max Jacob, Henri Michaux, Paul Éluard and Louis Aragon, one of whose poems is also the cause of the suspension of the magazine for a few months. Firmly committed to the Resistance, René Tavernier organized clandestine meetings at his home until the end of 1943 with Elsa Triolet and Louis Aragon.