born June 21, 1945 in Lvov, is a poet, essayist, literary critic, writer and translator. He spent his childhood in Gliwice. In 1963 he moved to Kraków, where he studied philosophy and psychology at the Jagiellonian University. Between 1972 and 1973 he edited the literary section of the Student magazine. A representative of the “New Wave” movement, he co-authored (with Julian Kornhauser) its famous manifesto Świat nie przedstawiony (The Not Represented World), 1974. Since 1982 he had lived in Paris and the United States, and moved back to Kraków in 2002. He kept his professorship in Houston, thanks to which Kraków hosted a yearly Poetry Seminar organized by the University of Houston until 2006. He currently teaches literature at the University of Chicago. He has been a member of the editorial board of “Zeszyty Literackie” ever since the quarterly was founded.
Zagajewski’s most important books of poems are Komunikat (Announcement), 1972; Sklepy mięsne (Meat Shops), 1975; List. Oda do wielości (Letter. Ode to Multiplicity), 1982; Jechać do Lwowa (To Go to Lvov), 1985; Płótno (Canvas), 1990; Ziemia ognista (The Fire Land), 1994; Pragnienie (Desire), 1999; Powrót (Return), 2003; Anteny (Aerials), 2005) and Niewidzialna ręka (The Invisible Hand), 2009. His essay collections include Solidarność i samotność (Solitude, Solidarity: Essays), 1986; Dwa miasta (Two Cities: On Exile, History, and the Imagination), 1991; W cudzym pięknie (Another Beauty), 1998; Obrona żarliwości (A Defense of Ardor: Essays), 2002 and Poeta rozmawia z filozofem (The Poet Talks to the Philosopher), 2007. One of the most acclaimed and widely translated Polish poets and essayists, he is the recipient of many prestigious international prizes, including the Prix de la Liberté (1987), the Vilenica Prize (1996), the Nicolas Lenau Prize (2000), the Tomas Tranströmer Prize (2000) and the Neustadt Prize (2004). In 2002 he became a member of the Bavarian Academy of Arts and Letters.