Poet, novelist and essayist Adam Zagajewski dies aged 75

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TVN24 News in English, PAP
TVN24Adam Zagajewski passed away aged 75

Adam Zagajewski, one of the most renowned Polish poets, prose writer, essayist and translator died on Sunday at the age of 75.

Adam Zagajewski died on Sunday evening in Kraków. Krystyna Krynicka from a5 publishing house confirmed the poet's death with Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Born in 1945 in Lviv, Adam Zagajewski was one of Poland's most distinguished Polish literary artists. He was a poet, prose writer, essayist and translator, as well as a laureate of many prestigious literary awards.

In recent years, he was often considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. His work has been translated into many language.

Zagajewski debuted in 1967 with a poem "Music" published in "Życie Literackie" weekly. Later on, he also published his work in other literary magazines, including "Odra" and "Twórczość".

In 1968 he became part of a literary group "Teraz" which postulated that literary language should be clear and authentic, as opposed to ever-present communist propaganda. The young poets called for the language to be rooted in everyday life, so it could influence the reality.

Adam ZagajewskiArtur Reszko/PAP

Together with Julian Kornhauser - another member of "Teraz" - Zagajewski would later become a co-founder of the Polish New Wave artistic manifesto. The poets were highly critical of some post-war writers for their escapism and failure to present the true picture of life in communist Poland.

Adam Zagajewski's first books of poetry - "Komunikat" (1972) and "Sklepy mięsne" (1975) - were a fruition of the New Wave manifesto, especially in praising the value of being authentic, telling the truth about the reality, and exposing the falsehood of the state propaganda.

In December 1975 he signed the Letter of 59 – an open letter signed by Polish intellectuals who opposed the changes introduced to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Poland.

He left Poland for France in December 1982. Living in Paris, he would publish in the legendary Polish emigration literary magazine "Kultura" and co-founded the "Zeszyty Literackie" magazine.

He returned to Poland in 2002 and settled in Kraków. In 2016, he received the French Order of Legion d'Honneur. He was also awarded the Bronze Cross of Merit, and twice received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Adam ZagajewskiGrzegorz Jakubowski/PAP


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: MARIJAN MURAT/DPA/PAP