Poetry as Source of Solace, Hope, and Faith event was recorded on Sept. 10,  2023 at The Chapel.

The selection was inspired by poems composed amid tragic historical events, such as September 11th or World War II–events that scarred our collective consciousness for generations.

Polish actors from Warsaw’s Teatr Baza joined colleagues from Upstream Theater for a bilingual performance of poems by outstanding Polish poets, including Nobel laureates Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, as well as Adam Zagajewski, Tadeusz Rózewicz, Ewa Lipska, and Julia Hartwig. 

Poetry is both a vital legacy and a snapshot of a particular time; it reminds us of ethical values and strengthens our faith in the power of emotion. It encourages us to think beyond the obvious to distance ourselves from common opinions and truisms. It alerts us to the hollowness of demagogic slogans while offering new avenues of insight to better understand the world around us and the phenomena taking place in it.

One-of-a-kind event in the St. Louis area dedicated to Polish poetry.


Introduction by Monika Zahorska

♫ Prelude:
Spróbuj opiewać okaleczony świat – Adam Zagajewski
Try to praise the Mutilated World – translated by Clare Cavanagh

Nienawiść – Wisława Szymborska, read by
Hatred, translated by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanaugh, read by Jane Paradise

Warkoczyk – Tadeusz Różewicz, read by
Pigtail, translated by Adam Czerniawski, read by Steve Isom

Ocalony – Tadeusz Różewicz , read by
Survivor, translated by Adam Czerniawski read by Eric Conners,

♫ Intermezzo: Theme from Schindler’s List – music by John Williams
Piotr Dyczewski, piano

Campo di Fiori – Czesław Miłosz, read by
Campo di Fiori, translated by Louis Iribarne and David Brooks, read by Steve Isom

Oglądając Shoah w pokoju hotelowym w Ameryce – Adam Zagajewski, read by
Watching Shoah in Hotel Room in America, translated by Renata Gorczynski, Benjamin Ivry, and C.K. Williams, read by Jane Paradise

♫Intermezzo: by Paul DeMarinis – tenor saxophone

Fotografia z 11 września – Wisława Szymborska, read by
Photograph from September 11, translated by Renata Gorczynski, Benjamin Ivry, and C.K. Williams, read by Eric Conners

11 września 2001 – Ewa Lipska, read by
11 September 2001, translated by Robin Davidson and Ewa Nowakowska, read by Jane Paradise

Wieże – Julia Hartwig, read by
Towers, translated by John & Bogdana Carpenter, read by Steve Isom

Piosenka o końcu świata – Czesław Miłosz , read by
A Song on the End of the World, translated by Anthony Milosz, read by Eric Conners, Jane Paradise, Steve Isom

♫ Postlude: What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss
Piotr Dyczewski, piano, Paul DeMarinis, tenor saxophone


The organizers wish to thank the following individuals and organizations for their support, which helped to make this event possible:

Equity Actors: Eric Conners, Steve Isom, Jane Paradise

Teatr Baza Actors: Magdalena Dudek, Dorota Żodkiewicz, Łukasz Furman

Tomasz Zadróżny, Artistic Director, Teatr Baza

Music: Piotr Dyczewski and Paul DeMarinis

Philip Boehm, Artistic Director, Upstream Theater

Dr. Anna Naumovich, Dr Sophia Bednarski, Izabela Czernikiewicz, Monika Zahorska, Eric Kenyon

The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago