Born in Dresden in 1962, lives in Berlin since 1985, briefly studied Theatre Studies. In 1988 the first volume of poetry " Grauzone morgens" followed in 1991 by " Schädelbasislektion ", which was celebrated by literary criticism. Therein Grünbein collects and arranges snapshots, dreams, poems, newspaper finds, graffiti, philosophical and political reflections dealing with the moment of the Fall of the Wall.
In 1995, Grünbein becomes the youngest member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (German Academy for Language and Poetry) and receives in the same year the Georg Büchner Prize.
In addition to numerous other honors, he received the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize, the Berlin Literature Prize of the Royal Norwegian Foundation, the Pier Paolo Pasolini-Prize and the Prize of the City of Västerås Tranströmer. 2003 he was awarded the Friedrich Nietzsche price, being the first non-philosoher to receive it.
Work (selection): Grauzone morgens (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1988), Schädelbasislektion (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 1991), Vom Schnee (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M., 2003), Aroma – Ein römisches Zeichenbuch (Suhrkamp, Berlin, 2010), Koloß im Nebel (Suhrkamp, Berlin, 2012)