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Poets House with Clare Cavanagh - a Translator of Milosz, Szymborska - Press Release

Poets House Presents
The Fourth Annual Katharine Washburn Memorial Program
with Clare Cavanagh, translator of Czeslaw Milosz,
Wislawa Szymborska & Adam Zagajewski
Thursday, June 3, 2004 at 7pm


NEW YORK, April 23— On Thursday, June 3, at 7pm, Poets House presents the fourth annual Katharine Washburn Memorial Program Memorial, a lecture by Clare Cavanagh, acclaimed translator of three of the most renowned Polish poets alive today—Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska and Adam Zagajewski. The event takes place at Poets House, 72 Spring Street, 2nd Floor, at Lafayette Street in New York City. Admission is free.

Winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize, Czeslaw Milosz was born in 1911, and published his first two volumes of poetry in the 1930s. During the Second World War, he lived in Warsaw and worked for underground presses. He went on to work as a diplomat for the People's Poland from 1945 until he broke with the government in 1951 and moved to France. He has lived in the United States since 1960 and has taught at the University of California, Berkeley.
Born in 1923, Wislawa Szymborska is the winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize and the author of 16 collections of poetry. She has lived in Krakow since 1931.
Adam Zagajewski, born in 1945, garnered attention as a member of the Polish New Wave of the late 1960s. One of Poland's most famous contemporary poets, he has taught in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston since 1988.

Clare Cavanagh is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages at Northwestern University. She is the author of Osip Mandelstam and the Modernist Creation of Tradition (1995). She has translated several volumes of poetry by Wislawa Szymborska, including View with a Grain of Sand (with Stanislaw
Baranczak), New and Collected Poems 1957-1997 (with Stanislaw Baranczak), and Nonrequired Reading. She has also translated Adam Zagajewski's poetry volumes Mysticism for Beginners and Without End (with Renata Gorczynska, C.K.Williams and Benjamin Ivry), and his memoir Another Beauty. She is currently working on two books, Poetry and Power: Russia, Poland and the West (Yale UP), and Czeslaw Milosz and His Century: A Critical Life (Farrar Straus Giroux). Among her many awards for her work on Russian and Polish poetry are the Pen Club/Book-of-the-Month Translation Prize, the Polish Pen Club Prize, and Guggenheim grants

The Katharine Washburn Memorial Program, an annual program devoted specifically to the art of translation, honors Katharine Washburn, co-editor of the World Poetry anthology and acclaimed translator, who died in March, 2000. By focusing on translation, the series pays homage to Ms. Washburn's life work: making the richness of poetry from all times and places available to readers in English. Each year, the program features a poet or poets who have helped poetry in English share a resonance with the past and with traditions of other languages and places.

For more information about other talks, workshops, master classes, children's programs and public conversations for readers, writers, and lovers of poetry, please check the Poets House Web site at http://www.poetshouse.org , or call (212) 431-7920. Visitors are also invited to visit the Poets House 40,000-volume library and reading room, which is free and open to the public Tuesday-Friday, 11 am-7pm; Saturday, 11 am-4pm. The Poets House Children's Poetry Room, a kid-sized library with children's poetry books, is free and open to the public Saturdays, 11am-1pm. Call to verify hours and program schedules.

Kira Henehan
Executive Assistant
Poets House
72 Spring Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
212/431-7920
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