July 13, 2017
|Julia Hartwig-Międzyrzecka was a poet, essayist, translator, and author of children’s books. She was born in Lublin, Poland in 1921, lived in Warsaw, Poland, and was visiting with her family in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania. She died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, July 13, 2017. She was the daughter of Ludwig Hartwig and Maria Biriukow, and widow of Artur Adam Międzyrzecki. She is survived by her daughter, Danielle Lehtinen, and son-in-law, Keith Lehtinen, retired in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.
Julia Hartwig-Międzyrzecka has been awarded numerous fellowships in France and the United States, and has won the Jurzykowski Prize from the Translation Center at Columbia University and the Austrian Georg Trakl Prize for poetry, among others. She received the distinction of Officer of the French Legion of Honor for popularizing and translating French literature into Polish. Together with her husband, Artur Międzyrzecki, she had compiled an Anthology of American Poetry in Polish translation. Her own work on Appolinaire, French writer of Polish descent, has also been translated into French and Chech, and her poetry was translated into languages such as English, German, and Portuguese.
The Polish President’s Office noted her passing on its website, hailing her ‘the grande dame of Polish poetry’, after being so described by Czesław Miłosz, mentor and Nobel Prize Laureate. It also mentioned her role as a member of Poland’s Wartime Home Army and as participant in the country’s cultural life under German occupation during World War II.
She continued to work for causes of Polish democracy and freedom during the post-War years, and was highly respected for her independent views. She was a welcoming and tactful hostess. While remaining a public figure, she prized her own and her family’s privacy, and worshipped her siblings. She traveled extensively, often to the USA, France and Italy. She leaves behind legions of fans of her work, and we will greatly miss her. She is in our hearts and minds forever.
A blessing service will be conducted:
Friends will be received from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm.
Memorial contributions can be made to The Countryside Conservancy.