Durs Grunbein is the author of six previous volumes of poetry and a collection of essays. His work has been awarded many major German literary prizes, including the highest, the Georg Buchner Prize. He has lived in Berlin since 1985. Michael Hofmann was born in Germany, grew up in England, and teaches at the University of Florida. He has translated the work of Alfred Doeblin, Franz Kafka, Hans Fallada, Gottfried Benn and Joseph Roth.