RALPH GÜNTHER MOHNNAU was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, 1937. An early interest in the poetry of the Middle Ages and Expressionism, as well as in painting and ballet, led to his studies in English and Roman languages, earning him de-grees in Law and Philosophy from the Universities of Mainz, Freiburg, and the Paris Sorbonne. Further foreign studies took him to Greece, Egypt, North America, China, Africa, Venezuela, Russia and Canary Islands, crediting his personal encounters with Martin Heidegger, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Joan Miró and John Cage as significant influences on his creative work.
All told, he has published more than three hundred volumes of his works (German National Library / Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, quote: mohnnau), many of which have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Catalan, Chinese and Japanese. Among which are eight books of poems. He also has written an important novel, Dance of the Condor, and translated Akhenaten's Song of the Sun, classic Sanskrit Love Lyric, and The Love Poems of Sappho. He also acted as author of theater plays and as librettist of four operas, performed internationally.
But Mohnnau's particular passion is for the art of Japanese haiku and haibun, of which he has composed more than eighteen thousand – appeared in ninety-four hand-made volumes with the title silence storm and red scents, since 2006. While his most recent anthology, montmartre – red lights, blue night hours, reflects on his student days in 1960s Paris, in the form of the Japanese haibun in three hand-made volumes.
Mohnnau lives and works as a freelance author and lawyer in Frankfurt am Main, where he is the founder of the Mohnnau Foundation for Art and Poetry and Alpha Literatur Verlag/Alpha Presse, dedicated to publishing the works of artists and paint-ers and artistically designed books, since 1967.