|Awards of the Polish American Historical Association
Amicus Poloniae Award -
Creative Arts Prize -
Distinguished Service Award -
Graduate Student Paper Award -
Miecislaus Haiman Award -
Oskar Halecki Prize -
Honorary Membership -
Kulczycki Prize (Books) -
Skalny Civic Achievement Award -
Swastek Prize (Best Article)
CREATIVE ARTS PRIZE
This award recognizes contributions in the field
of creative arts by individuals or groups who have promoted an awareness
of the Polish experience in the Americas.
2016 - Dr. Maja Trochimczyk
The 2016 Creative Arts Prize was bestowed on Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, for her achievements as a poet, especially her two
books dedicated to Polish victims of WWII, Slicing the Bread (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and The Rainy Bread (Moonrise Press, 2016).
Her books of poetry include Rose Always, 2008; Miriam’s Iris, 2008; Into Light, 2016; and two anthologies, Chopin with Cherries,
2010, and Meditations on Divine Names, 2012.
Dr. Trochimczyk received many honors for her work, including the Polish government’s medal for the promotion of culture, a fellowship from the
American Council of Learned Societies, PAHA’s Distinguished Service Award (2014), and the Swastek Prize (2007).
2014 - Adrian Prawica
Mr. Prawica is the director and executive producer of the film The Fourth Partition: Chicago (2013)
that tells a unique and rarely talked about history of Chicago's Polish Community at the dawn of the 20th century.
It examines economic and political reasons for the migration of over 4,000,000 Poles to the United States between 1870 and 1920.
Starting with the first Polish settlers in the Jamestown colony in 1608, this documentary focuses on Polish immigrant
workers in heavily industrialized Chicago neighborhoods, their community, as well as their political activism, which aided
Poland in her fight for independence during WWI. The Fourth Partition: Chicago features interviews with some of
the most known Polish-American historians in the United States [including PAHA's James Pula, Don Pienkos and Dominic Pacyga].
The film shows rare images of Poles in the Unites States and their communities, which they built while working in some of the
heaviest industries such as steel and meatpacking. Most of all, it tells a history of one of the largest ethnic communities in Chicago,
that is still ever present today. Trailer of the documentary may be seen at: http://www.amerykafilm.com/thefourthpartition/.
2013 - Julian Stanczak
A Polish-born painter and printmaker is being recognized for his 70 years long devotion to art and
education and his unique gift for painting and insight into visual perception.
He and his family - he was only 12 years old at the time - were all forcibly removed by the Soviet military to Central Asia following
the Nazi-Soviet invasion and conquest of Poland in 1939. He escaped from Siberia, via Persia and Uganda reached England and then
United States where he received a BA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and completed his MFA at Yale. He has achieved wide acclaim
and success despite the fact that since his incarceration in the USSR he has permanently lost the use of his right arm (he used to
be right-handed). Julian Stanczak is recognized as one of the important pioneers in Op-Art. This term first appeared in print in
Time magazine in October 1964 in response to his show Optical Paintings at the Martha Jackson
gallery in New York. The year 2013-2014 has been announced The Year of Stanczak Celebrations by the Akron Museum of Art
in Cleveland, the Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Kelvin Smith Library of Case Western Reserve
University Lectures & Exhibitions. http://www.julianstanczak.net/
2012 - Brigid Pasulka
Author of A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,
http://www.amazon.com/Long-Time-Ago-Essentially-True/dp/0547336284 Brigid Pasulka, the descendant of Polish immigrants, lives and works in Chicago.
In the early 1990s, Pasulka spent a year in Krakow, Poland, learning the language
and exploring Polish history and culture. While in Krakow, she witnessed the economic and
social transformations, which Poland went through after the fall of Communism.
A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True is Pasulka's first break-through novel,
which brings the readers to the early 1990s Krakow,
while at the same time recalling a love story as it unfolds in the small village in the
Polish mountains in the times of World War II
and the Stalinist period. A Long Long Time Ago is a winner of several national awards,
including PEN Hemingway and a National Geographic Traveler Book of the Month.
2011 - John Guzlowski
Professor Emeritus of Literature at Eastern Illinois University, and a noted poet. He has published the well-received works
Lightning and Ashes and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared on Garrison
Kellior's Writers Almanac and in The Ontario Review, Chattahoochee Review, Modern Fiction Studies, Nimrod, Margie, Exquisite Corpse and other journals here and in Europe. His poems about his Polish parents' experiences in Nazi concentration camps appear in his books Lightning and Ashes and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald. Third Winter was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He blogs about his parents and their lives at
http://lightning-and-ashes.blogspot.com/. His work was also antologized in
Chopin with Cherries, Meditations on Divine Names, and The Chopin House. Guzlowski has made major contributions to
Polish-American culture by promoting the works of other Polish American poets and writers, http://writingpolishdiaspora.blogspot.com. He serves on the PAHA Board of Directors and edits the Poetry Corner for the semi-annual PAHA Newsletter.
In his own words: "I was born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, and came with my parents Jan and
Tekla and my sister Donna to the United
States as Displaced Persons in 1951. My Polish Catholic parents had been slave laborers in Nazi Germany. Growing up in
the immigrant and DP neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, I met Jewish hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos
on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead horses, and women who walked from Siberia to Iran
to escape the Russians. My poems try to remember them and their voices. These poems have appeared in my chapbook Language of
Mules and in both editions of Charles Fishman's anthology of American poets on the Holocaust, Blood to Remember. Since retiring
from teaching American Literature in 2005, I've written two new books about my parents. My poems about them appear in my books
Lightning and Ashes (Steel Toe Books, 2007) and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald (Finishing Line Press)."
2008 - Anthony Bukoski Dr.
Bukoski recently published North of Port
(2008), a critically well-received collection of twelve short
stories that highlight the lives and legacies of ordinary Polish
immigrants at mid-century. He is the author of four other story
collections, including Children of Strangers (SMU, 1993),
Polonaise (SMU, 1999), and Time Between Trains (SMU,
2003), which was a Booklist Editors' Choice. His stories have
been featured on Wisconsin Public Radio, National Public Radio, and in
live performance in the Selected Shorts series at Symphony
Space in New York City. He teaches at his alma mater, the University of
Wisconsin in his hometown of Superior, where his Polish emigre
grandparents settled early in the last century.
2007 - Linda Nemec FosterDr.
Gunkel is Professor of Humanities and Cultural Studies at Columbia
College, Chicago. A specialist in urban cultural studies, she is widely
regarded as the leading scholar of polka in the United States. A previous
recipient of the PAHA Swastek Prize, Dr. Gunkel is honored with the
Creative Arts Prize in recognition of her body of scholarly work focusing
on Polish American culture.
Ms. Foster is the author of seven poetry collections
including Living in the Fire Nest (finalist for the Poet's
Prize), Amber Necklace from Gdansk (finalist for the Ohio Book
Award in Poetry), and Listen to the Landscape (short-listed for
the 2007 Michigan Notable Book Award). Her poems have appeared in
over 250 literary magazines and journals including The Georgia
Review, New American Writing, North American
Review, Nimrod, and the International Poetry
Review. Ms. Foster's work has also been included in various
anthologies, translated in Poland, exhibited in museums and galleries,
and produced for the stage. She has received awards for her work from the Arts Foundation of
Michigan, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the
National Writer's Voice of New York City, and the Academy of American
2006 - Ann Hetzel Gunkel
2005 - Marek Czarnecki
Mr. Czarnecki is an iconographer, the director of Seraphic
Restorations in Meriden, Connecticut. The son of Polish immigrants, he
enjoys a national reputation, and is held in particularly high esteem in
New England, where he has painted and restored many icons for local
Polish churches. He also has written on the subject of sacramental art in
Catholic churches in the United States.
2004 - Keith Mallard Mr.
Mallard's work, The Clarinet Polka (New York: St. Martin's
Press, 2003) was discussed enthusiastically in several presentations at
the January 2004 PAHA Annual Meeting. The buzz continued into the June
2004 Conference, One Hundred and Fifty Years of Polonia in North
America in New Britain, CT. The repeated refrain was, "he got it
right." The protagonist of the Clarinet Polka, Jimmy Dobrowski, returns
from military duty, to a fictional West Virginia steel town in 1969.
Avoiding sentimental and patronizing portrayals of working-class
ethnicity, Maillard shows Jimmy emerging from an alienated, numb state by
connecting to a homegrown, and vital local polka culture. This book
reminds us that while working-class baby boomers struggled, as their
middle-class cohorts did, with political cynicism and alienation in the
1970s, some found meaning in a different place: celebrating and re-
inventing an ethnic heritage they had initially scorned.
2003 - Anthony Bukoski
Time Between Trains (Southern Methodist University
Press). The 13 stories in Time Between
Trains represent Dr. Bukoski's fourth collection of short stories
set in his hometown of Superior, Wisconsin. The stories have been
described by reviewers as "beautifully written" and successfully
"portraying the overwhelming smallness of his world." Suzanne Strempek
Shea writes these stories are "stark, honest, and
poignant time capsule of a Lake Superior Polish enclave" and Leslie
Pietrzyk notes that the stories represent a "beautifully rendered
community of proud people." Excerpts from Time Between Trains
have been read on Wisconsin Public Radio and National Public Radio. In
addition, Booklist, the magazine of the
American Library Association, designated Time
Between Trains as one of the best books in 2003. Tony's work
introduces non-Polonians to Polonia, and allows Polish Americans the
pleasure of reading about their everyday lives in American
2002 - Lucyna Migala
Founder and director of the Lira Singers, Chicago. The Lira Singers have performed nationally and internationally
and everywhere brought honor and recognition to the Polish and Polish American cultural heritage. http://www.liraensemble.com/
2000 - Suzanne Strempek Shea
Author of series of very well-received novels that deal with Polish American life and experience.
1999 - Ada Dziewanowska
Author of Polish Folk Dances and Songs: A Step by Step Guide (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1997).
Artwork by a Polish American artist Julian Stanczak:
Structural Cadmium Yellow,
Exchanging Light-A, Structural Cadmium Red, Exchanging Light-B, Structural Orange, Structural Magenta and Structural Cobalt
from a 2012-13 series of paintings (24 by 24 each).