1.02.2021 - 31.12.2021 Events, Literature, News

Encounters with Polish Literature

February 1 – December 31, 2021

Monthly premieres and video recordings will be available at:
Polish Cultural Institute New York YouTube

Encounters with Polish Literature is a new video series in English for anyone interested in literature and the culture of books and reading. There are more points of contact between Polish writers and North American culture than many readers realize. Consider the long career of Czesław Miłosz at UC Berkeley and on the Bay Area poetry scene, the popularity of Wisława Szymborska in English translation, or the way that New Yorkers found comfort in Adam Zagajewski’s “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” after 9/11. Each month, host David A. Goldfarb presents a new topic in conversation with an expert on that author or book or movement in Polish literature. Translators will bring us into the delicate process of taking what may be a very personal and individual artistic expression in Polish and rendering it in a way that makes us feel as readers in English that we’ve made a human connection with the author. When possible, the show will bring in living authors to discuss their own work. Students thinking of taking a course in Polish literature or perhaps pursuing an advanced degree in the field, can meet leading scholars in Polish Studies at universities in North America and all around the world. If you are interested in writers like Miłosz, Szymborska, and Zagajewski, as well as prose writers, essayists, novelists, journalists, and more, then Encounters with Polish Literature can be your window into their world and their context.

Bartek Remisko, Executive Producer
David A. Goldfarb, Producer and Host
Natalia Iyudin, Producer



Episode 1 – Being Poland
Premiere: February 1, 2021
Introduction with Tamara Trojanowska (University of Toronto), Joanna Niżyńska (Indiana University), and Przemysław Czapliński, editors of Being Poland: A New History of Polish Literature and Culture since 1918 (University of Toronto Press, 2018).

Episode 2 – Witkacy
Premiere: March 1, 2021
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (“Witkacy”) with Benjamin Paloff (University of Michigan)

Episode 3 – Gombrowicz
Premiere: April 1, 2021
Witold Gombrowicz with Bożena Shallcross (University of Chicago)

Episode 4 – Zagajewski
Premiere: April 28, 2021
Adam Zagajewski with Clare Cavanagh (Northwestern University)

Episode 5 – Schulz
Premiere: June 1, 2021
Bruno Schulz with Karen Underhill (University of Illinois—Chicago)

Episode 6 – Różewicz
Premiere: July 1, 2021
Tadeusz Różewicz with Joanna Trzeciak (Kent State University)

Episode 7 – Nałkowska
Premiere: August 1, 2021
Zofia Nałkowska with Ursula Phillips (translator)

Episode 8 – Lem
Premiere: September 1, 2021
Stanisław Lem with Bożena Shallcross (University of Chicago)

Episode 9 – Hłasko
Premiere: October 1, 2021
Marek Hłasko with George Gąsyna (University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign)

Episode 10 – Reportage
Premiere: November 1, 2021
Reportage with Beth Holmgren (Duke University)

Episode 11 – Tokarczuk
Premiere: December 1, 2021
Olga Tokarczuk with translators, Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Jennifer Croft

Episode 12 – Mickiewicz
Premiere: January 3, 2022
Adam Mickiewicz with Roman Koropeckyj (UCLA)

Episode 13 – Wat
Premiere: February 1, 2022
Aleksander Wat with Michał Paweł Markowski (University of Illinois—Chicago) 

About the Host

David A. Goldfarb is an independent scholar of Polish literature and literary theory, a literary translator from Polish to English, and a liaison for Polish authors to US publishers. In 2018 he translated feature articles and interviews from Wysokie Obcasy—the weekly women’s supplement to Poland’s main independent daily paper Gazeta Wyborcza—for the former Newsmavens.com, a pan-European women’s news portal. From mid-2010 to the end of 2013, he was Curator of Literature and Humanities Programming at the Polish Cultural Institute New York, a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. Prior to that he served as Assistant Professor of Slavic Literatures and Comparative Literature at Barnard College, Columbia University.

He holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York as well as an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Cornell University and Deep Springs College. He has published articles on Bruno Schulz, Zbigniew Herbert, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Mikhail Lermontov, and East European cinema in such journals as East European Politics and Societies, Indiana Slavic Studies, Philosophy and Literature, Prooftexts, The Polish Review, Slavic and East European Performance, and Jewish Quarterly, and he has published book chapters on Jozef Wittlin, Witold Gombrowicz, and Nikolai Gogol and Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He has written the introduction and notes for Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych” and Other Stories and Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons for the Barnes and Noble Classics series, and for the Penguin Classics edition of the The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories by Bruno Schulz.

This project is part of  21-anniversary celebration of Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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