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Fadhil al-Azzawi was born in 1940 in Kirkuk, Iraq. In 1976, as the Baathist-controlled regime was tightening its grip on power, Al-Azzawi left Iraq to earn a doctorate in communication studies from Leipzig University. He is one of the leading experimental writers in the Arab world. He has edited many newspapers and magazines, participated in Iraq's avant-garde Sixties Generation and founded the poetry magazine “Shi’r 69” (Poetry 69) in 1969.

Al-Azzawis publications include 10 volumes of poetry in Arabic and one volume in German, novels, short-story collections, criticism, and numerous works of translation from English and German. He is currently a full-time writer living in Berlin, Germany.