Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Adam Zagajewski  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction Other Poetry

Born: 1945 in Lwow, Poland

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Adam is currently a faculty member at the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Adam is a Polish poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He was awarded the Bronze Cross of Merit, and twice received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In 1992, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He won the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and is the second Polish writer to be awarded, after Czesław Miłosz.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Solidarity, Solitude: Essays by Adam Zagajewski
ISBN: 0880011866

Ecco Pr. 1990

Book by Zagajewski, Adam, Vallee, Lillian

Selected Poems of Adam Zagajewski
ISBN: 0571224253

Faber & Faber. 2004

Adam Zagajewski is one of the most important poets to have emerged from the European continent in decades. This selection, made by the author himself, draws from his English-language collections both in and out of print. Vivid, attentive to the world, the poems in these lucid translations share the vocation that allows us, in Zagajewski's words, 'to experience astonishment and to stop still in that astonishment for a long moment or two'. 'Seldom has the muse . . . spoken to anyone with such clarity and urgency as in Zagajewski's case.' Joseph Brodsky

A Defense of Ardor: Essays
ISBN: 0374529884

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2005

Ardor, inspiration, the soul, the sublime: Such terms have long since fallen from favor among critics and artists alike. In his new collection of essays, Adam Zagajewski continues his efforts to reclaim for art not just the terms but the scanted spiritual dimension of modern human existence that they stake out.

Bringing gravity and grace to his meditations on art, society, and history, Zagajewski wears his erudition lightly, with a disarming blend of modesty and humor. His topics range from autobiography (his first visit to a post-Soviet Lvov after childhood exile

his illicit readings of Nietzsche in Communist Poland)

to considerations of artist friends past and present (Zbigniew Herbert, Czeslaw Milosz)

to intellectual and psychological portraits of cities he has known, east and west

to a dazzling thumbnail sketch of postwar Polish poetry.

Zagajewski gives an account of the place of art in the modern age that distinguishes his self-proclaimed liberal vision from the "right-wing radicalism" of such modernist precursors as Eliot or Yeats. The same mixture of ardor and compassion that marks Zagajewski's distinctive contribution to modern poetry runs throughout this eloquent, engaging collection.

Eternal Enemies: Poems
ISBN: 0374531609

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2009

The highway became the Red Sea.
We moved through the storm like a sheer valley.
You drove

I looked at you with love.

―from "Storm"

One of the most gifted and readable poets of his time, Adam Zagajewski is proving to be a contemporary classic. Few writers in either poetry or prose can be said to have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that have become a matter of course with Zagajewski. It is these qualities, combined with his wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities, that have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet reflecting on place, language, and history. Especially moving here are his tributes to writers, friends known in person or in books―people such as Milosz and Sebald, Brodsky and Blake―which intermingle naturally with portraits of family members and loved ones. Eternal Enemies is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.

Unseen Hand: Poems
ISBN: 0374533369

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012

A brilliant new collection from a master world poet

One of the most gifted poets of our time, Adam Zagajewski is a contemporary classic. Few writers in poetry or prose have attained the lucid intelligence and limpid economy of style that are the trademarks of his work. His wry humor, gentle skepticism, and perpetual sense of history's dark possibilities have earned him a devoted international following. This collection, gracefully translated by Clare Cavanagh, finds the poet returning to the themes that have defined his career―moving meditations on place, language, and history. Unseen Hand is a luminous meeting of art and everyday life.