Milosz 365

And from one Polish poet to another . . . The Polish Book Institute has named 2011 “Milosz Year,” a year long celebration marking the centennial of Czeslaw Milosz’s birth, and featuring dozens of events and other initiatives. A key part of this celebration is Milosz 365, a newly launched website where you find information (in English) about Milosz’s life, his work, all the stuff they’re planning, etc.

2011 marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Czeslaw Milosz. Born in Szetejnia, in the heart of the Lithuanian wilderness, he was driven away by the tragic events of the 20th century, living consecutively in Warsaw, Krakow, Paris, and the United States, to return to Poland at the turn of the millennium.

He was not only a poet, prose writer, a translator and an essayist read all over the world, but also an extraordinarily insightful observer and witness to the epoch.

Our hope is that the hundred-year anniversary of Czeslaw Milosz’s birth will be a chance to reacquaint ourselves with his work, which has long prompted creative reflection on the condition of the contemporary world.

The Milosz Year program is made up of new book publications, conferences, discussions, and exhibitions devoted to the poet, organized in Poland and abroad – from Krasnojarska through Vilnius, Krasnogruda, Krakow, and Paris, to New York and San Francisco. Its culminating point will be the second edition of the Milosz Festival, taking place in Krakow (May 9th-15th 2011).

One of the most interesting initiatives being launched this year is the Milosz 365 Translation Seminar:

The MILOSZ 365 Translation Seminar is aimed at all translators of Polish literature interested in Czeslaw Milosz and planning to translate his works.

The translation seminar will feature two four-hour work sessions, during which the participants will work on the translation of selected works by Milosz under the guidance of experienced translators, as well as Polish experts and authorities on the poet’s works. The plan is to create a few multilingual groups focused on particular works by Milosz, whether poetry or prose. The names of the seminar leaders, suggestions for works and recommended prior reading materials will be provided to those interested in participating, with enough notice to facilitate preparation. Apart from the workshops, there will also be a discussion panel with Czeslaw Milosz’s translators concerning the presence of his works in various cultures and literatures.

This seminar will take place from May 13th-16th in Krakow, and the Book Institute is offering to pay travel and accommodation costs for twenty participating translators. Applications are due by December 31st, 2010, and you can find all the necessary info at the bottom of this page.

Overall, the site looks pretty cool, and it’ll be interesting to see how this website develops and expands over the course of 2011.

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