Adam Zagajewski

Polish poet Adam Zagajewski, known for his work focused on the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the US, died aged 75 on Sunday in Krakow, Polish media reported quoting his publisher. Born in 1945 in Lviv, Zagajewski was one of Poland's most celebrated contemporary authors, winning numerous awards and was short-listed for the Nobel Prize for literature. He had divided his time between Poland and the United States, where he taught literature at the University of Chicago and was known as "the poet of 9/11".

He earned the moniker after the New Yorker magazine selected one of his poems-"Try to Praise the Mutilated World"-for the final page of its special issue on the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US in 2001. "You've seen the refugees going nowhere, you've heard the executioners sing joyfully," reads the poem he wrote months before the Twin Towers fell. "You should praise the mutilated world." Zagajewski's poems and essays were laced with history but also humor, and he was known for shunning the limelight and poking fun at himself.

He was a prominent member of the Polish New Wave literary movement, inspired by the post-war communist regime's brutal suppression of a wave of student protests across Poland in March 1968. Zagajewski moved to Paris in 1982, soon after Poland's last communist leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, tried to strangle Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first free trade union with a brutal military crackdown. By the time he returned to Krakow in 2002, he had earned several awards and honors, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Prix de la Liberte and a Guggenheim Fellowship. - AFP