Born in Leipzig in 1931, Grössel studied German literature, Romanic literature and philosophy in Göttingen and Paris. Doctorate 1960. Worked 1960-1966 as a publishing house reader, 1966-1997 as a radio journalist in Cologne and continuously as a translator, editor and critic in the fields of Danish, French and Swedish literature. Hanns Grössel died in Cologne on 1st August, 2012.
Prizes (selection): 1976 Translators' prize of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, 1991 Translators' prize „Natur och Kultur“ of the Swedish Academy, 1995 Prize for European Poetry of the Town of Münster (together with Inger Christensen), 1996 Alfred-Kerr-Prize for Literary Criticism, 2010 European Translators' Prize of the Town of Offenburg; 2002-2004: awarded with the German Translators' Union's Hieronymus ring.