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Szilárd Borbély was born in Fehérgyarmat, Hungary in 1964. After finishing his military service he studied Hungarian language and literature at Lajos Kossuth University in nearby Debrecen, specializing in the Baroque period and early nineteenth century. His first collection of poetry, Adatok, was published while he was still a student. Borbély has been working as a teaching assistant and lecturer at the faculty of old Hungarian literature since 1989. He received his doctoral degree in literary studies in 1998.
Franz Kafka and János Pilinszky are among Borbély’s influences as are the contemporary authors Miklós Mészöly, Péter Nádas and Péter Esterházy.
The author has also emerged as a translator from German and English, translating Rumyana Zakharieva, Monika Rinck, Hendrik Jackson, Robert Gernhardt and Durs Grünbein among others. He has been awarded the most coveted Hungarian literary prizes, the Tibor Déry Prize, the József Attila Prize and the Füst Milán Prize. He lives in Debrecen.