Spanish award for Polish poet
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish poet Adam Zagajewski has received the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Literature (Premio Princesa de Asturias de las Letras).
Adam Zagajewski. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The jury’s citation says that “In addition to his reflections on creation and his intense work of memorialisation, Zagajewski's poetry validates the ethical sense of literature and in a single, yet diverse voice in his native Polish accent unites Western tradition, all the while reflecting on the sorrows of exile.”
It describes the poet as heir to Rainer Maria Rilke, Antonio Machado and the Polish Nobel Prize-winning poet Czesław Miłosz, adding Zagajewski’s “resolute stance in defence of freedom and the search for beauty is faithfully reflected in his work, a work of great human depth and fine aesthetic sensibility.”
Born in 1945, Adam Zagajewski was a political dissident in communist Poland in the 1970s. Forced into exile, he spent two decades in Germany, France and the United States, teaching literature at the University of Houston. He now lives in Kraków. He has many collections of verse (including “Tremor”, “The Canvas”, “World Without End: New and Selected Poems”) as well as essays to his credit.
Zagajewski’s poem Try to praise the mutilated world published in The New Yorker's edition following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks enhanced his reputation in the United States.
Zagajewski is the first Pole to receive the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature in its 37-year-long history. A total of 38 writers from 23 countries, including Javier Marias of Spain and Michel Houellebecq of France, were among the candidates for the 2017 Award. (mk/rg)