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Jun 12, 2024

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Being Polish
In Chicago
Virtual Program May 3rd

Chicagoski: Writers On Polish Chicago

What does it mean to be Polish-American? In honor of Polish Constitution Day, Chicago Public Library will be hosting a virtual program with some of the most notable creatives of the written word connected to Chicago. Now living across the United States, editor Daniel Pogorzelski will interview authors Stuart Dybek, Thomas Dyja, John Guzlowski, and Dominic Pacyga as they share their thoughts on who they are.

This event is presented in honor of Polish Constitution Day and co-sponsored by CPL’s Polish Heritage Committee! It will take place on Monday, May 3rd from 6 to 7 p.m. Special thanks to co-sponsors Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in ChicagoAlliance of Polish Clubs (organizers of the annual Polish Constitution Day Parade), the Polish Arts Club of Chicago and Polish American Congress – Illinois Division for their co-sponsorship and support.

How to Attend
This event will take place live on CPL’s YouTube channel and CPL’s Facebook page. You’ll be able to ask questions during the event.

Can’t make it to the live stream? We’ll archive the video on YouTube to watch later as well.

Need captioning for this event? Please call (312) 747-4015. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.


STUART DYBEK (in photo)
Stuart Dybek is the author of six books of fiction, including Ecstatic Cahoots, a collection of flash-length stories. He has also published two collections of poetry. His book The Coast of Chicagowas the Spring 2004 One Book, One Chicago selection. His work is widely anthologized and magazine publication has included The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Granta, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, and Poetry. Dybek is the recipient of many literary awards, among them the REA Award and the PEN/Bernard Malamud Prize for “distinguished achievement in the short story”, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a John D. and a Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry and in Best American Fiction. He is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University.

Belmont-Cragin native Thomas Dyja is the author of The Third Coast, winner of 2013 Heartland Prize and the Chicago Public Library’s 2015 One Book, One Chicago. His new book is New York, New York, New York.



John Guzlowski is a writer whose works have been reviewed in the premier newspapers in the US. His most recent works are Echoes of Tattered Tongues, a a memoir of his parents’ lives as slave laborers in Nazi Germany and refugees in Chicago, and Little Altar Boy, a mystery novel dealing with pedophilia set in a Polish-American parish near Humboldt Park. He is also a columnist for the Dziennik Zwiazkowy, the oldest Polish newspaper in America.


Dominic A. Pacyga received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1981. Pacyga was a member of the Humanities, History, and Social Sciences Department at Columbia College/Chicago from 1984 until his retirement in 2017. In both 1999 and 2011 he received the Columbia College Award for Excellence in Teaching. IHe has authored, or co-authored, seven books concerning Chicago’s history including SlaughterhouseChicago and Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago. Pacyga’s newest book, American Warsaw, was published by the University of Chicago Press in the fall of 2019. He has lectured widely on topics ranging from urban development, residential architecture, labor history, immigration, to racial and ethnic relations, and has appeared in both the local and national media. Pacyga has won both the Oscar Halecki Award from the Polish American Historical Association for, Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago (1991) and the Catholic Book Award for Chicago: City of Neighborhoods (1986). In 2014 he was awarded the Miecislaus Haiman Award by the Polish American Historical Association for his contribution to Polonia Studies. n 2015 he won the Russell P. Strange Memorial Book of the Year Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for Slaughterhouse. In 2019 he again received the Halecki Award for American Warsaw. The next year he was granted the similarly named Halecki Award from the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America also for American Warsaw. Pacyga has been a Visiting Professor at both the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2005 he was a Visiting Fellow at Campion Hall, Oxford University. Pacyga was awarded a Fulbright Grant and taught in the Institute for American Studies and the Polish Diaspora at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland during the 2013-2014 academic year.