The annual ALSCW/LiT Forum features international writers and translators, often in collaborative pairs, for a bi-lingual reading and discussion about the process of translation, collaboration, as well as considerations of international literary and publishing communities. Our 5th Annual ALSCW/LiT Forum features a conversation between Swiss fiction writer Peter Stamm and translator & poet Michael Hofmann.
Peter Stamm (b. 1963) is a Swiss novelist, short-story writer, and radio dramatist. Stamm worked as an accountant for nearly a decade before becoming a writer. His sparse writing style has been translated into English by Michael Hofmann. These translated works include Seven Years, Agnes, Unformed Landscape, and On a Day Like This, as well as In Strange Gardens and Other Stories, a collection of short stories.
Michael Hofmann (b. 1957) is a German-born poet and translator. He has published six books of poetry: Nights in the Iron Hotel (1983), Acrimony (1986), K.S. in Lakeland: New and Selected Poems (1990), Corona, Corona (1993), Approximately Nowhere (1999), and Selected Poems (2009). With James Lasdun, he edited the influential anthology After Ovid: New Metamorphoses (1994). A selection of his criticism, Behind the Lines: Pieces on Writing and Pictures, was published in 2002. He has edited and introduced short selections of the poems of Robert Lowell (2001) and John Berryman (2003), and has edited the anthology Twentieth Century German Poetry (2006).
Hofmann has also translated some seventy books from the German, mainly novels, including works by Hans Fallada, Ernst Jünger, Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Koeppen, Joseph Roth, and Wim Wenders. His criticism appears regularly in the London Review of Books and Poetry (Chicago).
For his poetry he has won a Cholmondeley Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and an English Arts Council grant; for his translations the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the P.E.N./Book of the Month Club Translation Prize, the Weidenfeld Oxford Translation Prize (twice), and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Deutsche Akademie der Künste.
He received his BA (1979) and MA (1984) in English from Cambridge University. He teaches at the University of Florida and He has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, the New School University, and Barnard College, Columbia University.