The exhibition of correspondence, books, and memorabilia of Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) held at the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture was the second event at Columbia University celebrating Milosz's Centennial Year established by UNESCO. The opening of this exhibition about the Polish Nobel Prize laureate in literature of 1980 coincided with a multilingual reading of his poetry recited by numerous members of the Columbia University community. The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages, the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture, the East Central European Center, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and the Polish Student Society at Columbia University and Barnard College.
Professor Alan Timberlake, Director of East Central European Center, opening remarks.
Professor Helen Vendler, Harvard University, a prominent scholar and Milosz's personal friend, was an honorary guest.
Dr. Anna Frajlich-Zajac, Department of Slavic Languages, senior lecturer of Polish literature at Columbia University and a highly recognized prize-winning writer herself, read some Milosz poems in Polish.
Professor Ian Probstein of Touro College, poet and translator, read a selection of his own renditions of Milosz poetry translated into Russian.
Vasyl Makhno, Ukrainian poet, writer, and translator, presented his personal translations of Milosz poems into Ukrainian.
Various members of Columbia University community read their favorite Milosz poems in a dozen different languages, including Hebrew, Portuguese, French, German, Swedish, Slovenian and Japanese.
Dr. Anna Frajlich-Zajac, Department of Slavic Languages, remarked on the significance of the presented exhibition items at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. A reception followed.