Fadhil al-Azzawi was born in 1940 in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. He studied English literature at Baghdad University, earning a B.A. degree, then earned a PhD in cultural journalism at Leipzig University in Germany. He edited a number of magazines in Iraq and abroad and founded Shi`r 69 (Poetry 69), which was banned after the fourth number. He spent three years in jail under the dictatorship of the Ba`th regime. His poetry and criticism have been published in the leading Arab literary magazines since the early sixties and his books published in many Arab countries. He has published eight volumes of poetry in Arabic and one in German, two open texts, five novels, one volume of short stories, two volumes of criticism and theoretical writings, and many literary works of translation from English and German. He left Iraq in 1977 and has lived since 1983 as a freelance writer in Berlin. His poems and works had been translated into many European and eastern languages, including English, German, French, Swedish, Spanish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Turkish, Hebrew, and Persian. Titles available in English include Miracle Maker (2003), poems translated by Khaled Mattawa, and three novels, The Last of the Angels (2007 and 2008), Cell Block Five (2008), and The Traveler and the Innkeeper (2011), all translated by William Maynard Hutchins.