Faculty Spotlight: Double Identities. A Profile of Anna Frajlich (Zajac)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Anna Frajlich-Zajac, senior lecturer, retired this spring after teaching Polish language and literature at Columbia for thirty-four years. To look at it another way, she has been the mainstay of the Polish language program, which celebrates its centenary this year, for a third of its existence. The celebrated Polish poet Anna Frajlich, her alter ego who goes by her maiden name, journeyed to London to receive the Literature Prize from the Union of Polish Writers in Exile at a ceremony held on March 20, 2016. Frajlich, the author of ten books of poetry, one prose volume, a small book of essays on Nobel Laureate Czesław Miłosz, and a scholarly monograph on Russian symbolist poetry, was awarded the prize for her “work as a whole.” The announcement, made in November at the fabled Łazienki Palace in Warsaw during the ceremony celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the Union of Polish Writers in Exile, cites “her deep literary roots in Polish, Jewish, and American culture,” yet recognizes that it is in “the Polish language that she finds a safe haven and belonging. . . . The journey, exile, and the passing of time are frequent themes in her works. Her work has a deep humanitarian dimension.” Read the profile in Harriman Magazine.

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