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Annual Copernicus Lecture in the Zell Visiting Writers Series. Milosz: Made in America

Thursday, September 22, 2011
12:00 AM
Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington

5:10 pm—Film
The Magic Mountain: An American Portrait of Czeslaw Milosz. Documentary directed by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz. In English and Polish (60 min., 2001).

6:00 pm—Public Reception

7:00 pm—Symposium
A conversation with Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, and Lillian Vallée. With Bogdana Carpenter and Benjamin Paloff, U-M.
Robert Hass, poet and Distinguished Chair of Poetry and Poetics, University of California, Berkeley
Robert Pinsky, writer, poetry editor, Slate, and professor of creative writing, Boston University
Lillian Vallée, poet and translator
Bogdana Carpenter, professor emerita of Slavic languages and literatures, U-M
Benjamin Paloff, assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures and comparative literature, U-M

June 30, 2011 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004). The Nobel laureate had close ties to the University of Michigan, where his first major collection of poems to appear in North America, Utwory poetyckie, was published in 1976 by Michigan Slavic Publications, and where he received an honorary doctorate in 1977. Two weeks after receiving the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature he returned to Michigan to lecture, becoming the Visiting Walgreen Professor of Human Understanding in 1983, and he was a frequent visitor to the campus until his final Copernicus Lecture and poetry reading in 1993. Milosz: Made in America is a conversation about Milosz’s development as a poet in the U.S. and his continuing influence on contemporary poetry. The panelists, all celebrated poets and translators as well as long-time Milosz collaborators, will offer their insights about this complicated man and his work and their own roles in the “making” of both.

In The Magic Mountain, the Milosz phenomenon is discussed by U.S. scholars Richard Lourie, Robert Hass, Susan Sontag, Helen Vendler, and others. The film was shot in and around the artist’s house in Grizzly Peak, San Francisco, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where the poet lived and taught for almost 40 years.

Click here for video of the symposium.

Click here to view an interactive timeline of Milosz's life and career.

This program is sponsored by the Copernicus Endowment, Michigan Slavic Publications, and Zell Visiting Writers Series with additional support from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; Institute for the Humanities; International Institute; and Office of the Vice President for Research.