Michael Horovitz, born in Frankfurt, was the youngest of 10 children who were brought to England from Nazi Germany by their parents, both of whom were part of a network of European-rabbinical families. Horovitz studied at Brasenose College, Oxford, from 1954 to 1960.
In 1959 he founded the periodical New Departures while still a student, publishing William S. Burroughs, Samuel Beckett, and Stevie Smith. He continued to edit it for 50 years, coordinating many "Live" New Departures, Jazz Poetry SuperJams and Poetry Olympics festivals. Though initially associated with the British Poetry Revival, Horovitz became widely known on his appearance at the International Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall on 11 June 1965, alongside Allen Ginsberg and Alexander Trocchi.
In 1969 Penguin Books published Horovitz's Children of Albion anthology. Introducing him to New York City in 1970, Ginsberg characterized him as a "Popular, experienced, experimental, New Jerusalem, Jazz Generation, Sensitive Bard".
In 1971 Horovitz published The Wolverhampton Wanderer, an epic of Britannia, in twelve books, with a resurrection & a life for poetry united, with an original dustjacket by Peter Blake. The book is a collection of British artists of the period, with illustrations and photographs by Michael Tyzack, Peter Blake, Adrian Henri, Patrick Hughes, Gabi Nasemann, Michael Horovitz, Paul Kaplan, John Furnival, Bob Godfrey, Pete Morgan, Jeff Nuttall, David Hockney and others. It is, among other things, a visual and literary elegy to the culture surrounding association football up to the 1960s, celebrating not only Wolves and its supporters, but also Arsenal, Spurs, and legendary teams from the North. Horovitz's Growing Up: Selected Poems and Pictures, 1951–79 was published by Allison & Busby in 1979.
In 2007, Horovitz published A New Waste Land: Timeship Earth at Nillennium, described by D. J. Taylor in The Independent as "a deeply felt clarion-call from the radical underground", and by Tom Stoppard as "A true scrapbook and songbook of the grave new world". In January 2011 Horovitz contributed to an eBook collection of political poems entitled Emergency Verse - Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State, edited by Alan Morrison.
Horovitz stood for election as Oxford Professor of Poetry in 2010 (supported by Tony Benn), but came second, out of eleven, to Geoffrey Hill.
Michael Horovitz fronts the William Blake Klezmatrix band in which he plays the anglo-saxophone, an updated and extended eunuch flute of his own devising.
To celebrate Horovitz's 80th birthday, a limited-edition album was produced of a 2013 recording of his poem sequence "Bankbusted Nuclear Detergent Blues", on which he is accompanied by Paul Weller, Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn.
He was married to the English poet Frances Horovitz (1938–1983); their son Adam Horovitz (born 1971) is also a poet, performer and journalist.
Michael Horovitz's home is in Notting Hill, London.Strangers (with Maria Simon; 1965)
Nude Lines for Larking in Present Night Soho
Poetry for the People (Latimer Press, 1966)
Bank Holiday: a New Testament for the Love Generation (Latimer Press, 1967)
Love Poems: Nineteen Poems of Love, Lust and Spirit (New Departures, 1971)
The Wolverhampton Wanderer (Latimer, 1971; ISBN 978-0901539144)
Growing Up: Selected Poems & Pictures 1951–79 (Allison and Busby, 1979)
Midsummer Morning Jog Log (with Peter Blake; Five Seasons Press, 1986, ISBN 978-0950460680)
A New Waste Land: Timeship Earth at Nillennium (New Departures, 2007, ISBN 978-0902689183)
Wordsounds and Sightlines: New and Selected Poems (New Departures, 1994, ISBN 978-0902689206)
Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain, New Departures 1-24 (Penguin Books, 1969, ISBN 978-0140421163)
Poetry Olympics Anthologies 1-3
A Celebration of & for Frances Horovitz (1938–1983) (New Departures, 1984, ISBN 978-0902689121)
The POW! (Poetry Olympics Weekend) Anthology
The POP! (Poetry Olympics Party) Anthology
The POM! (Poetry Olympics Marathon) Anthology (New Departures, 2001, ISBN 978-0902689213)
The POT! (Poetry Olympics Twenty05) Anthology (New Departures, 2007, ISBN 978-0902689251)
Jeff Nuttall's Wake on Paper: A Keepsake Anthology of the Life, Work and Play of a Polymath Extraordinaire
Grandchildren of Albion: An Illustrated Anthology of Voices and Visions of Younger Poets in Britain (New Departures, 1992, ISBN 978-0902689145)
Bartók by Gyula Illyés (with Paul Zador)
Poems by Raoul Hausmann
Europa by Anatol Stern (with Stefan Themerson)
The Egghead Republic by Arno Schmidt
Poems by Andrei Voznesensky (with Richard McKane)
Alan Davie (1963)
Michael Horovitz Goes Visual
Michael Horovitz: Bop Paintings, Collages & Picture-Poems