“Milosz: Made in America” program will honor Polish poet with Michigan ties


By Rachel Brichta
Sep 12, 2011

Czeslaw Milosz

The U-M Copernicus Endowment and Michigan Slavic Publications are joining with the Zell Visiting Writers Series to present “Milosz: Made in America” in honor of the 100th birthday of poet and Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz. The event will begin at 5:10 pm on Thursday, September 22 with a documentary film about Milosz’s life titled, The Magic Mountain: An American Portrait of Czeslaw Milosz. A symposium will begin at 7:00 pm, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, and writer and translator Lillian Vallée – all of whom worked with Milosz. U-M professors Bogdana Carpenter and Benjamin Paloff will lead the discussion.

June 30, 2011 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004). The Nobel Prize-winner had close ties to the University of Michigan, where his first major collection of poetry, Utwory poetyckie, was published in 1976 by Michigan Slavic Publications, and where he received an honorary doctorate in 1977. Two weeks after winning the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature he returned to Michigan to lecture, becoming the Visiting Walgreen Professor of Human Understanding in 1983, and a frequent visitor to the campus until his final Copernicus Lecture and poetry reading in 1993. “Milosz: Made in America” is a conversation about Czeslaw Milosz’s development as an American and Californian poet, and his continuing influence on contemporary poetry. The panelists, who are celebrated poets and translators as well as long-time collaborators of Milosz, will offer exclusive insights about this complicated man and his work, and their own roles in the “making” of both.

PLACE: Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

SPONSORS: Copernicus Endowment, Michigan Slavic Publications, Zell Visiting Writers Series; additional support from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Institute for the Humanities; International Institute; and Office of the Vice President for Research

CONTACTS:  Copernicus Endowment –Marysia Ostafin, mostafin@umich.edu, 734.647.2237
                        Zell Visiting Writers Series – Megan Levad, mslevad@umich.edu, 734.615.3710

WEB LINKS:  www.ii.umich.edu/crees/events                     
                        www.ii.umich.edu/crees/aboutus/regionalprograms/polishstudies
                        www.lsa.umich.edu/english/grad/mfa/mfaeve.asp
                        www.lsa.umich.edu/slavic/msp/

The Nicolaus Copernicus Endowment was established in 1973 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the great Polish astronomer’s multifaceted genius. Initially created with the cooperation of students, faculty, and Polish-Americans of Michigan, the Copernicus Endowment is sustained today by the energy and financial assistance of hundreds of individual supporters. The principal goal of the Endowment is to enable faculty appointments, programming, and student fellowships in Polish studies. Income from the Endowment makes the Annual Copernicus Lecture possible, and ensures the continued scheduling of public events dedicated to advancing a deeper understanding of the people, culture, and politics of Poland.