A 2015-16 Howard Foundation Fellow in Poetry, Andrew Zawacki is the author of five poetry books: Unsun : f/11, due next year from Coach House; Videotape (Counterpath, 2013); Petals of Zero Petals of One (Talisman House, 2009); Anabranch (Wesleyan, 2004); and By Reason of Breakings (Georgia, 2002). A former Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright Scholar, Zawacki earned his doctorate from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
His chapbook Georgia was co-winner of the 1913 Prize, while Masquerade won the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. Arrow's shadow is just out from Equipage in the UK, Kaeshi-waza was published in Canada by The Elephants, and Sonnensonnets is due from Tammy. His work has appeared in Poems for Political Disaster, Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries, Great American Prose Poems, and other anthologies, as well as magazines such as The New Yorker, The Nation, and The New Republic. Of his three books in France, Par Raison de brisants, translated by Antoine Cazé, was a finalist for the Prix Nelly Sachs.
A past fellow of the Slovenian Writers’ Association, Zawacki edited Afterwards, an anthology of postwar Slovenian poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, in addition to editing and co-translating Aleš Debeljak’s new and selected poems, Without Anesthesia (Persea, 2011), assisted by a Slovenian Ministry of Culture Translation Grant. His translations of two poetry books by Sébastien Smirou, See About (La Presse / Fence, 2017) and My Lorenzo (Burning Deck, 2012), have earned him a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a French Voices Grant, and a grant from the Centre National du Livre.
He coedited the late expatriate writer Gustaf Sobin’s collected poems and serves as co-executor of Sobin’s literary estate. Zawacki has published criticism in the TLS, Boston Review, Chicago Review, How2, Jacket2, New German Critique, and elsewhere. He has held fellowships from the Salzburg Seminar, the Bogliasco Foundation, la Résidence Internationale aux Récollets, le Collège International des Traducteurs Littéraires, Hawthornden Castle, le Château de Lavigny, and the Millay Colony, Saltonstall Foundation, and Bread Loaf.
Zawacki is working on a pair of projects. “Paris Photo Graff” is a prose-photography hybrid that interlaces black and white photos of Paris wall scrawl with episodic meditations on open-source literary communities and semi-hidden sub-cultures, the commercialization of street art, the hermeneutics of rumor and secrecy, authorial absence, the social relation of graffiti to political change, and the history of documenting graffiti. Zawacki is also completing a translation of Pierre Bergounioux’s cult classic B-17 G, a récit about air war, photography, modernity as a function of speed, and the instant of death.
Frequently involving a second discipline and sometimes cross-listed with other departments, Zawacki’s writing workshops and topics seminars range widely. His creative writing workshops have addressed the prose poem, writing and photography, literary translation in theory and practice, the poetics of ruination and erasure, articulating the present tense, locutions of location, and the poetic sequence. While engaging issues of modern American poetry in seminars such as eco-poetics and the Berkeley Renaissance, his topics courses tend to confront the history of ideas, especially as constituted and concentrated in the twentieth century. Among recent seminars he has directed are “Antigones,” “Friendship and Death,” “Chris Marker: Solidarity,” “Writing on the Wall: Graffiti,” Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, “Sade and the 20th Century."