Born in Lund, Sweden on 3 October 1939, Göran Sonnevi spent his childhood and youth in Halmstad, where he studied the natural sciences, concentrating on mathematics. From 1958 to 1966 he attended the University of Lund, where he studied humanities. In 1966 he moved to Järfälla outside Stockholm, where he has lived ever since as an independent writer. Since 1961 he has published fifteen individual books of poetry in addition to three collections. He has translated the poetry of Ezra Pound, Paul Celan, Osip Mandelstam and others into Swedish; a volume of his translations came out in 1992.
The many awards and honors accorded him in Sweden include: Bonniers Literary Magazine Prize, 1967; Carl-Emil Englund Prize, 1970; Aftonbladets Literature Prize, 1972; Fröding Award, 1975; Aniara Prize, 1975; Bellman Prize of the Swedish Academy, 1979; Svenska Dagbladets Literary Prize, 1979; Prize of the Nine, 1985; Gerard Bonniers Award of the Swedish Academy, 1997; Tegnér Prize, 1997; Erik Lindegren Prize, 1998; Ferlin Prize, 1998; The Nordic Council's Prize 2006.