Grünbein is hailed as the most significant and successful poet to emerge from the former East Germany, and his work has been awarded many major German literary prizes, including the highest, the Georg-Büchner-Preis, which he won in 1995. That same year, he also won the Peter Huchel Prize for Poetry.
In 2005, he held the position of Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College. Since 2006, Grünbein is a visiting professor at the academy of fine arts at Düsseldorf and at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee.
In 2009 he was a poet in residence at the Villa Massimo in Rome. Grünbein is a regular contributor to Frau und Hund - Zeitschrift für kursives Denken, edited by the academy's rector, the painter Markus Lüpertz.
Grünbein has also published several essay collections and new translations of plays from antiquity, among them Aeschylus' The Persians, and Seneca's Thyestes. His work, which also includes contributions to catalogues and a libretto for opera, has been translated into many languages.
- Grauzone morgens (1988)
- Schädelbasislektion (1991)
- Falten und Fallen (1994) Gedichte, Suhrkamp Verlag ISBN 3-518-40570-5
- Den teuren Toten
- Nach den Satiren
- Erklärte Nacht (2002)
- On Snow (Vom Schnee, 2003)
- Cyrano oder Die Rückkehr vom Mond (2014) Gedichte, Suhrkamp Verlag
- Books in English translation
- Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems, (translated in 2005 by Michael Hofmann) (shortlisted for the 2006 International Griffin Poetry Prize)
- Descartes' Devil: Three Meditations (translated by Anthea Bell; published by Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc., New York, 2010)
- The Bars of Atlantis: Selected Essays. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010
- Durs Grünbein Faculty page at European Graduate School. Biography and bibliography.
- Griffin Poetry Prize biography, including audio and video clips
- Profile on Germany - Poetry International Web site
- Durs Grünbein at the complete review
- Why Live Without Writing: Unpopular answers to poetry questions essay published in February 2010 at the Poetry Foundation website