Zagajewski, Adam, 1945–2021, Polish poet, b. Lviv, Jagiellonian Univ. (B.A., 1968; M.A., 1970). He and his family were forcibly repatriated to Poland when Lviv was ceded by Poland to the USSR, and he was raised in Silesia, later moving to Kraków, where he graduated from Jagiellonian Univ. Passionally opposed to the ruling Communist regime, Zagajewski was the best-known figure in the “Generation of 1968,” a group of politically dissident young poets. He continued to rage against the government until the late 1970s, when he largely abandoned defiant political poetry for more lyrical and meditative verse concerned with philosophical and personal themes. In 1982 he moved to Paris, where his mature work flowered and he produced poems that were often concerned with his own past, with the individual and history, and with the nature of reality and art. Over the following decades, he taught at several US universities, including the Univ. of Houston and Univ. of Chicago. His collections in English translation include Tremor (1985), Canvas (1991), Mysticism for Beginners (1997), Another Beauty (2000), the anthology Without End (2002), Unseen Hand (2011), and Asymmetry (2018). Among his books of essays are Solidarity, Solitude (1986, tr. 1989), Two Cities (1991, tr. 1995), and Poetry for Beginners (2018). Zagajewski has also written several novels. He was honored with several awards, including the Prix de la Liberté, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (2004), and Spain’s top humanities award (2017), and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship (1992).
See his memoir (2000); B. Shallcross, Through the Poet’s Eye: The Travels of Zagajewski, Herbert, and Brodsky (2002).
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