Fadhil al-Azzawi was born in Kirkuk in northern Iraq in 1940. He studied English literature at Baghdad University and cultural journalism at Leipzig University in Germany. He edited a number of magazines in Iraq and abroad and founded the literary magazine Sh’ir 69 (Poetry 69). He was arrested many times and spent three years in prison for his political and cultural activities. He has published more than thirty books and many literary works of translation from German and English into Arabic. His poems and some of his books have been translated into many languages. Among his books in English are the poetry collection Miracle Maker (2003), translated by Khaled Mattawa, and three novels, The Last of the Angels (2007), Cell Block Five (2008) and The Traveller and the Innkeeper (2011), all translated by William Maynard Hutchins. He left Iraq in 1977 and has lived in Berlin since 1983.