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University of Iowa News Release


April 6, 2009

UI Writers' Workshop guest poet Zagajewski reads April 16

Polish poet, novelist and essayist Adam Zagajewski, a guest of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Dey House on the UI campus.

A resident of Paris, Zagajewski writes in Polish, but many of his books of poetry and essays have been translated into English. He is considered one of the "Generation of '68" or "New Wave" writers in Poland. The New Yorker printed his poem "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" after 9/11, which raised his literary stature.

His poetry collections include "Tremor" (1985), "Canvas" (1991), "Mysticism for Beginners" (1997) and "World Without End: New and Selected Poems" (2002).

Robert Pinsky wrote that his work is, "about the presence of the past in ordinary life: history not as chronicle of the dead, or an anima to be illuminated by some doctrine, but as an immense, sometimes subtle force inhering in what people see and feel every day -- and in the ways we see and feel."

Zagajewski has said of his own work, "I will never be someone who writes only about bird song, although I admire birdsong highly -- but not enough to withdraw from the historical world, for the historical world is fascinating. What really interests me is the interweaving of the historical and cosmic world. The cosmic world is unmoving -- or rather, it moves to a completely different rhythm. I shall never know how these worlds coexist. They are in conflict yet they complement each other -- and that merits our reflection."

Zagajewski's prose collections include "Two Cities: On Exile, History and the Imagination" (1995) and the 2000 memoir "Another Beauty." He has won the Prix de la Liberté and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Berliner Künstlerprogramm.

The Writers' Workshop is a graduate program of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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