Janusz Głowacki

Janusz Andrzej Głowacki (13 September 1938 – 19 August 2017), better known as Janusz Głowacki or colloquially simply as Głowa, was a Polish playwright, essayist and screenwriter.[3][4] Głowacki was the recipient of multiple awards and honours, including Guggenheim Fellowship, two Nike Award nominations and BAFTA Award nomination. He was awarded the Gloria Artis Gold Medal in 2005 for his contribution to Polish culture, and in 2014, the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Janusz Głowacki
Janusz Głowacki at the 2009 Literaturomania Festival
Janusz Głowacki at the 2009 Literaturomania Festival
BornJanusz Andrzej Głowacki
(1938-09-13)13 September 1938
Poznań, Poland
Died19 August 2017 (aged 78)
  • Playwright
  • Essayist
Alma materUniversity of Warsaw
Notable works
  • Antigone in New York
  • Fortinbras Gets Drunk
  • The Fourth Sister
  • Hunting Cockroaches
Notable awards
Spouse1) Ewa Zadrzyńska (divorced)
2) Olena Leonenko (2015-2017; his death)[1]
ChildrenZuzanna Glowacka[2]


Janusz Andrzej Głowacki was born into an intelligentsia family on 13 September 1938 in Poznań. He was the son of Helena Głowacka (née Helena Rudzka, d. 1991), a literary editor, sister of Polish character actor, Kazimierz Rudzki; and Jerzy Głowacki, a crime fiction novelist.

Głowacki appeared in two plays produced by the Students' Satirical Theatre during his high school years and was interested in serious theater, which led to his enrollment to the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. He attended Academy, but by his own account had problems adjusting to the college, and dropped out. He later attended the University of Warsaw, where he studied both history and Polish philology and eventually earned a Master of Arts in the latter in 1961.

He began his literary career by publishing his collections of short stories depicting the cultural and social reality of the 1960s and 1970s in Poland, such as The Nonsense Spinner (1968) and The New La-ba-da Dance (1970). His works achieved great popularity and made him famous, thanks especially to his satirical portrayal of social phenomena in regularly published articles.[5]

He wrote the screenplay for Andrzej Wajda's Polowanie na muchy (1969) (Hunting Flies) and co-wrote the screenplay of the popular Polish movie Rejs (The Cruise), released in 1970.[3] The 2001 film Mechanical Suite is based on his short story Brothers. Głowacki co-wrote screenplay for Cold War, which was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[6][7]

In 1981 he emigrated to New York City in the wake of the imposition of martial law in Poland by its Communist government. There, he was nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play for Antigone in New York (1994).[8] He was prominent in New York City society and the arts.

Głowacki taught creative writing at Columbia University and Bennington College. Additionally he worked as the visiting playwright at New York Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Atlantic Center for the Arts.

On August 19, 2017, Głowacki died unexpectedly during his holidays in Egypt.

Awards and honoursEdit

Janusz Głowacki and Tadeusz Konwicki (Warsaw, 2005)


  1. ^ "Obituary" (PDF). Legacy.com. Retrieved 29 August 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Zuzanna Glowacka". IMDb. Retrieved 19 August 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Scislowska, Monika (19 August 2017). "Prize-winning Polish-US playwright Janusz Glowacki dies". Retrieved 19 August 2017 – via washingtonpost.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Trojanowska, Tamara (2003), Stephan, Halina (ed.), "Many happy returns: Janusz Głowacki and his exilic experience", Living in Translation: Polish Writers in America, Studies in Slavic Literature and Poetics Series, Rodopi, 38, p. 259, ISBN 9042010169
  5. ^ "Janusz Głowacki". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Helen Hayes Award Nominees & Recipients, theatreWashington, retrieved 10 February 2013 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Encyklopedia teatru polskiego, "Janusz Głowacki", Encyklopedia teatru polskiego, retrieved 19 August 2017
  10. ^ "Nagroda Prezydenta Miasta Gdańska "Neptuny"" (in Polish). Oficjalny serwis Miasta Gdańska; http://www.gdansk.pl. Retrieved 7 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Edition 2013". Jan Michalski Foundation. Retrieved 14 September 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit