Durs Grünbein (born 1962 in Dresden) is a poet and translator as well as a writer of essays and opera libretti. In 1987, he gave up studying theatre at Humboldt University in Berlin and has been working as a freelance writer ever since. He has participated in performances with Via Lewandowsky. Recommended to the Suhrkamp Verlag publishing house by Heiner Müller, he debuted in 1988 with the book of poetry Grauzone morgens. Since then, he has published more than twenty books, translated into many languages. In 1995, he received the Georg Büchner Award. He has been a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin since 1999 and received the Pour le Mérite medal in 2008. He has been connected to Via Lewandowsky through an artistic friendship for many years. They have worked together on exhibitions, artists' books, photo projects and texts, most recently in a show at the Heidelberger Kunstverein.