Nights in the Iron Hotel

Michael Hofmann

A Poetry Book Society recommendation, at last in Faber’s poetry series look.

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Michael Hofmann, a much-praised contributor to Poetry Introduction 5, was born in Germany in 1957 but brought up in Britain. Nights in the Iron Hotel, which won the author a Cholmondeley Award in 1984, is his first full-length volume. Hofmann’s poems are marked by a classical authority, a formidable ironic intelligence, wide-ranging subject matter and a unique tone of voice. ‘You move the fifty-seven muscles it takes to smile,’

Hofmann writes in a poem whose subject is sexual tension – and immediately the reader recognises a world in which emotions are not the usual poetic counters but something truer, more complex and more painful. This quality of disenchantment is served by a deceptively laconic style of measured brio.


Michael Hofmann was born in 1957 in Freiburg, Germany, and came to England in 1961. He has published four volumes of poems and won a Cholmondeley Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for poetry. His translations have won many awards, including the Independent‘s Foreign Fiction Award, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the P.E.N./Book of the Month Club Translation…

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