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Michael Hofmann Biography

(1957– ), Nights in the Iron Hotel, Acrimony

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Hersey Biography to Honest Man's Revenge

poet, born in Freiburg, Germany, the son of Gert Hofmann, a distinguished German novelist; he grew up in England and was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, the University of Regensburg, and Trinity College, Cambridge. Since 1983 he has been a freelance writer, and taught creative writing at the University of Florida in 1990. Nights in the Iron Hotel (1983), his first collection of poetry, gained him notice for its tone of detached disenchantment and the restrained inventiveness of his forms and imagery. Acrimony (1986), K. S. in Lakeland: New and Selected Poems (1990), and Corona, Corona (1993) are among his subsequent collections. His understated elegance and studied flatness of manner are particularly appropriate to the treatments of disjunctive relationships in various poems. Numerous poems in Acrimony deal with his complex attitudes towards his father in a sometimes movingly direct manner. His other works include an adaptation of Brecht's The Good Person of Sichuan (1989), and translations of Kurt Tucholsky's Castle Gripsholm (1985) and Joseph Roth's The Legend of the Holy Drinker (1989).

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