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Hans Magnus Enzensberger  

German Author, Poet, Translator and Editor

Hans Enzensberger is a German translator, editor, author, and poet. Born in Bavaria, he was just 15 years old when the Third Reich collapsed. After studying German literature, philosophy, and language at the universities of Erlangen, Freiburg, and Hamburg, Enzensberger earned his doctorate at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Enzensberger writes in both English and German. In addition to novels, he has written more than five volumes of poetry, including collections for children. Poet Charles Simic, quoted in the Guardian, praised the large scope of Enzensberger’s writing: “[H]e has the largest range of subject matter, employs a variety of styles.… Almost every one of his poems, be they lyric, dramatic or narrative, has a polemical quality."

His various awards and honors include the Georg Büchner Prize, the Heinrich-Böll Prize, and the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities. In 2009, he received a Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award. Poet and Griffin trustee Carolyn Forché noted the precision of Enzensberger’s diction and style, describing it as a “lively and cornucopious.”

Enzensberger has been the editor of the book series Die Andere Bibliothek since 1985. He lives in Munich.

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