Michael Hofmann

Michael Hofmann

Michael Hofmann was born in Germany and moved to England in 1961. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, he has worked as a freelance writer, translator, and critic since 1983. His most recent poetry collection One Lark, One Horse was released in 2018. Nights in the Iron Hotel, his first book of poems, appeared in 1984. He is an influential and award-winning translator of writers such as Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, and Herta Müller. In 2008 he was Poet in Residence in Queensland. Michael Hofmann's Selected Poems appeared with FSG and Faber. His Gottfried Benn translations, Impromptus, was released in 2013.

'Paradise', a poem by Michael Hofmann

May 2022, no. 442 23 April 2022
'Paradise', a poem by Michael Hofmann
The joy of rhizomes.Four makes of bamboovolunteering everywhere,a kind of supergrass.‘Hello, it’s me.’A snitch as tall as a tree.Whenever I pass that way,I have at them with the hatchet.Two minutes of violent exercise.They are the isolate stiff hairson my Eczema Reversion Lawn@ where the weeds have cross-wiredthe surface and depth-charged the rootswith their little water-barrel reservoirs.I ... (read more)

'The Resident', a new poem by Michael Hofmann

December 2019, no. 417 22 November 2019
'The Resident', a new poem by Michael Hofmann
We have the White Louse. His name is Donal Dump. He is the Resident, and he heads the Dump maladministration, squillionaires and a sprain-surgeon, a Cabinet of all the talons. They call him a racial spigot. He sees it as he calls it, which makes him spigot. He squitters Twitter on the shitter, and we titter after. He only squeaks for us. He is our mouth-squeeze. He has a background in constriction ... (read more)

'Cyndi Lauper', a new poem by Michael Hofmann

December 2018, no. 407 27 November 2018
'Cyndi Lauper', a new poem by Michael Hofmann
June 22 And many happy returns of the day to Cyndi Lauper, 65,once said to ‘dress funny’ and her voice likened to ‘rat’ (or ‘rat’s’),singing the song ‘Money changes everything’, like a coarsened Bowie,and to the nameless, ageless rat featherbedded in a mysteriously malfunctioningIndian ATM machine in over a million mostly shredded rupees. Michael Hofmann ... (read more)

Michael Hofmann reviews 'Ted Hughes' by Jonathan Bate

January-February 2016, no. 378 17 December 2015
Michael Hofmann reviews 'Ted Hughes' by Jonathan Bate
I can readily see that I am not the intended reader for The Unauthorised Life of Ted Hughes. Born in the year his first book of poems came out (The Hawk in the Rain, 1957); made to read Hughes at school (I preferred Sylvia Plath); a graduate of the same university (Cambridge); my books published by the same publisher (Faber), and sharing (if at all) the same bookstore shelves (between Heaney and H ... (read more)

Michael Hofmann reviews 'Australian Poetry Since 1788' edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337 25 November 2011
Michael Hofmann reviews 'Australian Poetry Since 1788' edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray
Stumbling round the house absent-mindedly or in the off-hours, I wonder where the economy-sized fish tank came from; or the dictionary of some unexpectedly eloquent Oceanian language; or the errant slab of copper sulphate (did some friend or enemy leave it?). Then I remember that it’s the new Australian poetry anthology I am reviewing, the thick end of 1100 large pages – is it the format calle ... (read more)