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Cynthia Leigh Haven
Unknown institution
“The Spirit of the Place”: Polish-American Poet Czeslaw Milosz in California

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on Nobel-prize winning poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004), his defection from Communist Poland, and his four decades in California.

Nobel poet Czeslaw Milosz has been considered a poet of Mitteleuropa, a “poet of witness,” a survivor of the destruction of Warsaw and life under Communist rule. Yet he spent four decades in California and was also a poet of immigration and a poet of America, writing about our oceans, deserts, mountains, and culture. He argued with our poets in his verse – and praised them, too. It is time to claim him as one of our own. This book discusses his decision to defect from Communist Poland, the turbulent circumstances of his immigration during the Cold War, and how, over four decades, he became his own kind of American.

Project fields:
Comparative Literature; Literature, General; Slavic Literature

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2018 – 8/31/2019