George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956. He grew up in London, studied Fine Art in London and Leeds. He returned to Budapest for the first time in 1984. Szirtes has worked extensively to great acclaim as a translator of poems, novels, plays and essays. He is the winner of the T.S. Eliot Award, among others. Bad Machine, his most recent book, is his first book of poetry published in the USA. He is married to the painter Clarissa Upchurch.
"Szirtes's position in English poetry is unique, combining a loving engagement with the poetic forms and traditions of his adopted home with direct linguistic and imaginative access to European history, the Holocaust and the struggles of small nations with larger neighbours..."
– The Guardian
"I can't think of anyone but Louis MacNeice whose work has struck me as having such a combination of sheer verbal energy, contemporary pertinance and acuity, formal legerdemain, imaginative elan and fertile, courageous strangeness."
– Marilyn Hacker