A meeting in the editor’s office of the “Tygodnik Powszechny”, October 6, 1989
Czesław Miłosz (1911–2004), Polish poet, prose writer and an essayist as well as historian of literature, interpreter, and Nobel Prize winner in 1980. Born in Sztejny, Lithuania. Debuted as a poet in 1930. In 1931 he co-founded the literary group „Żagary”, and co-edited a magazine under the same title. In 1931 he went on his first trip around Western Europe. In the years 1934 – 1935 he was on a scholarship in Paris, which he received from the National Culture Fund. Since 1940 he worked as a janitor in the Library of the Warsaw University. He took part in the underground cultural movement, where among many activities he published a collection Poems (Wiersze, 1940, under a fake name J. Syruć) and the anthology Independent Song (Pieśń Niepodległa, 1942). Since 1945 he represented the Polish People’s Republic as a diplomat in the United States, since 1946 in the general consulate in New York. In the years 1947-1949 he was the cultural attaché in the Washington embassy, and in 1950 a secretary of the embassy in Paris. In 1951 he asked for a political asylum and became an emigrant. In the beginning he lived in Maisons Laffitte nearby Paris, and since 1960 in the United States. In 1960 he became a lecturer and then a professor of the Slavic Literature and Language Faculty in the University of California – Berkeley. In the years 1981-1982 he was a professor of Harvard University. Until 1989 he published books in exile and in the underground circulation in Poland. In 1989 he returned to Poland.