Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Joanna Kurowska  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;


-- Facebook --
-- Twitter --
-- Website --
-- Joanna Kurowska on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Kurowska has lived, studied, and worked in Illinois since she immigrated from Poland in 1988.

Biographical and Professional Information

A bi-lingual poet-immigrant, Joanna Kurowska is the author of seven critically acclaimed books of poetry. Her work has been published in American and European journals such as ''Atticus Review'', ''Bateau, Christianity & Literature'', ''The Conradian'', ''International Poetry Review'', ''Kultura'' (Paris), ''Levure liiéraire'', ''Off the Coast'', ''Room'', ''Southern Quarterly'', and elsewhere. Kurowska holds a Ph.D. in literature and has taught at several American universities, including Indiana University and the University of Chicago. In-debth interview: [ Writers in Conversation; Flinders University, Australia].

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Stained Glass
ISBN: 1632132222

eLectio Publishing. 2016

There is a mystery regarding the book's cover... The street behind the glass is in an ancient town in Poland. The cobblestones are still there, so are the trees that once rustled over an old Jewish cemetery... Almost forgotten now, the cemetery reappears in Stained Glass, along with the people who once lived, loved, suffered--and laughed. Recalling the magic of those times, Stained Glass depicts the journey of a person who has left the world of her childhood and youth to try a new life--across the ocean.

ISBN: 1944251634

Finishing Line Press. 2016

Intricacies : Poems of the Heart

Longing heart. Broken heart. Ecstatic heart.
These are poems about the many shades of love.
More info about this book at:

The Butterfly's Choice
ISBN: 1937968154

Broadstone Books. 2014

Like the titular butterfly trapped in a headlamp, the poetry in this new collection by Polish-American author Joanna Kurowska occupies the boundaries and extremities of our human condition, probing and challenging what it means to live "half-eaten" but still grasping at the possibility of hope and meaning, "yielding half-beauty to the world." Informed by the poet's immigrant experience of shifting between homelands and languages, and underpinned by her exploration of gnosticism, these are works of clear-eyed observation and studied contemplation.

ISBN: 0991009169

Cervena Barva Press. 2014

A business street in a city, a lawn by a highway merge, a cupboard, a human face, a dream--like pages in a fascinating book, all are full of unexpected meanings. Inviting you to a walk throughout the world you know, Inclusions will make you discover wonders in things seemingly ordinary and mundane.

The Wall & Beyond
ISBN: 1482371170

eLectio Publishing. 2013

Sometimes it feels you are hitting the wall. Reality differs from dreams. Someone has broken your heart. People seem indifferent. Suffering challenges the very idea of a loving God... You construct a protective "wall," imaginary or real hoping it will keep out the world that seems so cruel. Depicting the many symbolic "walls" we build to separate ourselves from others, THE WALL & BEYOND shows that, in the end, love sustains us, beyond suffering, beyond beliefs.

Obok (Polish edition)
ISBN: 8371241194

Oficyna Literacka. 1999

A poetry collection by Joanna Kurowska (in Polish)

Sciana (Polish Edition)
ISBN: 8370236014

Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie. 1997


  • Featured Illinois Author in Willow Review, 2016
  • Nominated for Pushcart, 2011, 2014 and 2015
  • Selected for
  • The Best of Vine Leaves

    anthology, 2014

  • Award in Jerzy Popie?uszko National Poetry Contest, 1994 (Poland)

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    For the list of past and forthcoming readings, or to schedule a reading or an interview, please visit http ("News & Events"; "Contact")

    or e-mail Joanna Kurowska at