Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Northwestern University. She has studied Russian, Polish and Slavic Languages in Leningrad, Santa Cruz, Krakow and Harvard, where she earned her PhD in 1988 with the dissertation Osip Mandelstam and the Modernist Creation of Tradition (publ. Princeton University Press, 1995).
Stanisław Barańczak’s most outstanding pupil, she joined him in translating Polish poetry into English, including the anthology Spoiling Cannibals’ Fun: Polish Poetry of the Last Two Decades of Communist Rule (Northwestern University Press, 1991), and the poetry of Wisława Szymborska, initiating her huge success in the USA. She independently translated Szymborska’s Nonrequired Reading: Selected Prose, (Harcourt Brace, 2002) and many volumes of poetry and essays by Adam Zagajewski, as well as the poems of Ryszard Krynicki. Apart from her book on Mandelstam, she has published Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West (Yale University Press, 2009), awarded the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism in 2011. She has won many awards, including such vaunted prizes as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1998-9), the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2011-12), the Polish PEN Club Award (1997), and is a multiple recipient of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages Prize for Outstanding Book in Slavic Literatures. Her essays and translations have appeared in the “Times Literary Supplement,” “The New Yorker,” “The New Republic,” “The New York Review of Books,” “BookForum,” and “Poetry.” She is presently at work on a biography of Czesław Miłosz.