Michael Hofmann

Writer - Poetry, Non-fiction and Translation

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Photograph: Thomas Andermatten


Associate: Seren Adams


Michael Hofmann is a poet, reviewer and translator. He has published four books of poems, and BEHIND THE LINES: PIECES ON BOOKS AND PICTURES. His collection of essays, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? was published by Faber & Faber in February 2015. He has made selections of the poetry of Robert Lowell and John Berryman, and, with James Lasdun, co-edited the influential anthology AFTER OVID. Michael Hofmann has translated many German authors, including Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth and Hans Fallada. His translation of Kafka's METAMORPHOSIS AND OTHER STORIES is published by Penguin, and he is now at work on a new translation of Alfred Doblin's BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ. A hitherto untranslated novel by Fallada, A SMALL CIRCUS, was published in January 2012. Michael lives in London and Germany, and since 1993 has held a half-time teaching position at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Michael's recent translations include Kafka's THE BURROW (Penguin, 2017), and he is currently translating Fallada's LITTLE MAN, WHAT NOW? (KLEINER MANN, WAS NUN?) for Penguin.

In 2016 Faber re-issued Michael's poetry collections NIGHTS IN THE IRON HOTEL, ACRIMONYCORONA, CORONA and APPROXIMATELY NOWHERE. His new poetry collection, ONE LARK, ONE HORSE, was published by Faber in 2018. 


Publication DetailsNotes


World English Language: Penguin

Franz Kafka's profoundly influential story 'Metamorphosis' here receives a new translation from the distinguished poet and translator of Kafka's AMERIKA and Joseph Roth's THE RADETSKY MARCH.


Publication DetailsNotes

Where Have You Been?


Faber and Faber

In these thirty essays, Hofmann brings his signature wit and sustained critical mastery to a poetic, penetrating, and candid discussion of the writers and artists of the last hundred years. Here are the indispensable poets without which contemporary poetry would be unimaginable - Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, and the man he calls the greatest English poet since Shakespeare, Ted Hughes. But he also illumines the despair of John Berryman and the antics of poetry's bogeyman, Frederick Seidel. In essays on art that are themselves works of art, Hofmann's agile and brilliant mind explores a panoply of subjects from the mastery of translation to the best day job for a poet. Where Have You Been? is an unmissable journey with literature's most irresistible flaneur. At the same time, it is a story of love between a reader and his treasured books.


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Faber & Faber

One Lark, One Horse is a remarkable assembly of work that will delight loyal readers and enchant new ones with its approachable, companionable voice.