Clare Cavanagh

Winner of the NBCC in criticism, Clare Cavanagh is the Frances Hooper Professor of Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University. Her translations include Wisława Szymborska’s Map: Collected and Last Poems, with Stanisław Barańczak, and Adam Zagajewski’s Slight Exaggeration.

Magnetic Point: Selected Poems

Poetry by Ryszard Krynicki

Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh

born in transit I came upon on the place of death So Ryszard Krynicki begins the early lyric that gave his 1969 debut volume Act of Birth its title (a poem which ends: “I live / in the place of death”). These are not simply metaphors. One of the greatest poets of postwar Poland, Krynicki was born in 1943 in a Nazi labor camp in Austria, where his parents, Polish peasants from Ukraine, served as slave laborers.…
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