Anna Frajlich-Zajac

Anna Frajlich (a.k.a Anna Frajlich-Zajac) has lived in New York since 1970, after emigrating from Poland with her husband and son in 1969 with the Jewish “exodus” cause by the so called “Anti-Zionist” campaign orchestrated by the Polish Communist Party. In 1965 she received her MA in Polish literature in the Warsaw University, and defended her Ph.D. dissertation in the Slavic Department of the New York University in 1990.

Her poetry, reviews, articles and essays have been published in various journals in Poland, the United States, and Europe.  She is an author of 17 books of poetry (and prose), three of them bilingual Polish–English, Polish-French, and recently Polish-Italian.

Today Frajlich is a Senior Lecturer Emerita, Department of Slavic Languages and
Associate Faculty Member, Harriman Institute, Columbia University

She has taught Polish language and literature in the United States for over 30 years.

She is the recipient of:

1981 Kościelski Foundation of Switzerland Literary Prize

2002 The Knight Cross of the Order of Merit awarded by the President of the Polish Republic 

2003 Literary Prize of W. & N. Turzanski Foundation (Toronto, Canada).

In the citation the Prize committee praised Dr. Frajlich work as one “of the most interesting phenomena in the contemporary Polish poetry,” which “reveals deep truth about the existence of an individual entangled in the tragic fate of contemporary civilization.”

2008 the honorary title of the Ambassador of Szczecin, Poland. 

2015 Prize of the Union of Polish Writers in Exile, based in London.

The citation states: Anna Frajlich’s  “literary roots lie deep in Polish, Jewish and American culture, but it is in the Polish language that she finds a safe haven and belonging.... The journey, exile, the passing of time are frequent themes in her works, but she seeks not only her own place in the world, but goodness and beauty. Her work has a deep humanitarian dimension.”

2017 the Distinguished Pole Award in USA, category of culture. 

She is a member of Polish Writers Association, Polish PEN, and the American PEN, also the board member of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences, as well as the following associations: The Kościuszko Foundation, and the American Assoc. of Slavic and East European Languages. 

Her book of essays in English “The Ghost of Shakespeare” will be published in 2021.

Her website:


Last Updated: March 2, 2020