Poet Zagajewski Wins Lifetime Award in Canada
Renowned poet, prose writer, translator, and essayist Adam Zagajewski was honoured with the Canadian Griffin Trust Lifetime Recognition Award for Excellence in Poetry on 1st June 2016. The prize, awarded for his entire artistic output, is accompanied by 10,000 Canadian dollars.
The Griffin Poetry Prize was created in 2010 by businessman and philanthropist Scott Griffin. Every year, the prize goes to one Canadian author and one from abroad. This year, the prize went to Canadian Liz Howard and American Norman Dubie. Adam Zagajewski was awarded for lifetime achievement. Mark Doty, American poet and National Book Award laureate, said in honour of Zagajewski:
Poets do not choose their relation to history. We are born when and where we are, some in the line of fire, some sheltered from difficult circumstances, most of us somewhere in between. Some are temperamentally at odds with their times, some prove just the right spirit to give voice to the complexities of the hour. Here in the still-new 21st century, readers who love poetry are fortunate nearly beyond measure, because we have a poet ideally suited to the tenor of these times, one whose work arises from the ash-heap of the 20th century, and voices the real fears and tentative hopes of the 21st. I am profoundly honoured, on behalf of the Griffin Trust, to present the international award for lifetime achievement to one of the major poets of our era: Adam Zagajewski.
In his speech, Mark Doty also claimed that ‘the great Polish poets of the last century’s second half – Czesław Miłosz, Zbigniew Herbert, Wisława Szymborska – belonged not just to Poland but to the world’.
Adam Zagajewski was born in 1945 in Lviv and is one of the best known Polish contemporary poets, as well as an essayist and translator connected to the New Wave movement in Kraków and a member of the editorial board of Zeszyty Literackie. He has received many awards, among them the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, often called the ‘American Nobel’, in 2004. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times. He currently spends part of the year in Kraków and part in Chicago, where he lectures at the university.
Source: Griffinpoetryprize.com, Wydawnictwo a5, Wyborcza.pl; written by jrk, translated by br