Ashes for Breakfast
Author: Durs Grünbein; Translated by Michael Hofmann
The first English translation of Germany's leading contemporary poet.
...what is the whole surreal jokeshop
of terrors compared to the
infinitely chance little
tricks of a poem.
--from "MonoLogical Poem #1"
Born in Dresden in 1962, Durs Grünbein is the most significant and successful poet to emerge from the former East Germany, a place where, he wrote, "the best refuge was a closed mouth." In unsettling, often funny, sometimes savage lines whose vivid images reflect his deep love for and connection with the visual arts, Grunbein is reinventing German poetry and taking on the most pressing moral concerns of his generation. Brilliantly edited and translated by the English poet Michael Hofmann, Ashes for Breakfast expertly introduces Germany's most highly acclaimed contemporary poet to American readers.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The News
“Durs Grünbein is a highly original poet, an heir to the riches of German and European Modernism. What's striking in this poetry is a hard, almost cynical tone which turns out to be just a lid on a jar containing many substances.” —Adam Zagajewski
“Durs Grünbein is one of the most intelligent poets writing in German today. His subject is nothing less that 'this life, so useless, so rich.' It is wonderful to have his selected poems in Michael Hofmann's note-perfect translation.” —John Ashbery