Writer

Adam Zagajewski

Born in Lviv.

Writer

Adam Zagajewski

Born in Lviv.

Adam Zagajewski is one of the most significant authors of contemporary Polish literature. Zagajewski is a winner of prestigious Polish, European and global literary awards, and his works have been translated into many languages. He is a poet, essayist and prose write. He was born in Lavov in 1945, but his family has been forced to move to western Poland. He spent his childhood in Gliwice, where he finished elementary and high school. He studied philosophy and psychology in Krakow from 1963 to 1970. In 1968 he founded Teraz with his college friends – Krakow branch of the poetry formation New Wave – and became a co-author of programmatic texts. With Julian Kornhauser he published “Świat nieprzedstawiony” (1974), a collection of essays of literary-critical and programmatic character. From 1968 to 1975 he worked as an assistant at the Institute for Social Sciences at the University for Science and Technology in Krakow. He was an editor and co-editor of literary magazine Student, Młoda Kultura.  Because of his connections to the opposition circles, where he worked as a lecturer of illegal courses, he published with underground publishers, and editing the first independent literary magazine Zapis, he was on banned authors’ list for several years. In 1979 he received a scholarship in West Berlin (Berliner Künstlerprogramm), and stayed there until 1981 when he returned to Krakow, but emigrated again in 1982 to France. Since he was still cooperating with intellectual and literary circles in Poland, he published in esteemed literary quarterly Zeszyty Literackie, which was at first published in Paris, and in 1992 moved to Warsaw. Along with the magazine, Zeszyty had a significant publishing production during their twenty years of existence. They published one of Zagajewski’s most important essay books Solidarność i samotność (1986). In 1988 Zagajewski started teaching creative writing at the University of Houston. He returned to Krakow in 2002, where he died in 2021.