2011 marks the centenary of the birth of the Nobel prize-winning poet, novelist and academic, who defected to the West in 1951.
Chiefly known for his seminal work The Captive Mind (1953), a trenchant study of how intellectuals behave under a tyrannical system, Miłosz was born in lands that lie in present-day Lithuania. He taught for many years at the University of California, Berkeley, where he published his acclaimed History of Polish Literature.
Miłosz was amongst a cluster of émigrés that made the decision to return to Poland full-time after the fall of the Iron Curtain. He lived his last years in Krakow, where he was ultimately laid to rest in the fabled Crypt of Honour at the Church on the Rock.
Besides Poland and Lithuania, Miłosz Year will be celebrated in France, China, India, Israel, the USA and beyond. A website has already been launched to tie in with the event. Updates can be found at www.milosz365.eu