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Czeslaw Milosz
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    (June 30, 1911-August 14, 2004)
    Born in Seteniai, Lithuania
    Defected from Poland to France (1951)
    Moved to the United States (1960)
    Wrote poetry collections ‘The Word: Naïve Poems’ (1943) and ‘Roadside Dog’ (1997)
    Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of California, Berkeley
    Nobel Prize for Literature (1980)
    He angered many Poles by identifying more with Lithuania than Poland.
    He was born Catholic, turned atheist and later returned to the Catholic faith.
    He was a diplomat for Poland’s Soviet government after World War II.
    He found California, his US state of residence, ‘alienating.’
    He felt intellectuals were often responsible for the rise of totalitarian regimes.
    He slammed Poland’s rampant anti-Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s.
    His was fired from his radio job in the 1930s for his left-wing politics.
    He learned Hebrew so he could translate the Old Testament into Polish.
    His works were banned in Poland for years.
    He believed writers should eschew ideology and focus on human experience.

Credit: Georgina

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