In "It Will Return", her most recent volume of poems, Julia Hartwig is in dialogue with other great artists - Keats, Rimbaud, Milosz, Beethoven, Ravel, Van Gogh - considering the implications of greatness. Alongside this expansive perspective, we find attention to the smallest details, composing quotidian moments that open out into unexpected meaning. For Hartwig, close attention to the material world is a kind of spiritual undertaking. Like her Nobel Prize - winning contemporary Wislawa Szymborska, she writes poems that appear simple but are somehow all the more capable of yielding profound insights. "It Will Return" reflects Hartwig's firsthand involvement in Polish history and culture, and its poems are sensitive to the calamities of Poland's tumultuous twentieth century. But "It Will Return" is a human collection before it is a national one, and these political motifs form the backdrop for more universal dramas.
Julia Hartwig is a poet, essayist, and translator. She is the recipient of numerous awards from Poland, France, and the United States, including the Jurzykowski Prize and the Austrian Georg Traki Prize for poetry. Author of fourteen volumes of poetry and several prose works, she occupies a prominent place in the Polish literary landscape. In Praise of the Unfinished: Selected Poems, the first English translation of her work, was published in 2008. She lives in Warsaw. John Carpenter is a poet and literary critic. He is the author of Creating the World and a study of the literature of the Second World War. Among the works the Carpenters have translated as a team are seven volumes of poetry and prose by Zbigniew Herbert. Bogdana Carpenter is professor of Slavic languages and literature and comparative literature at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Poetic Avant-Garde in Poland, 1918-1939 and Monumenta Polonica: The First Four Centuries of Polish Poetry, as well as other works.
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