John Z. Guzlowski
is the son of parents who met in a slave labor camp in Nazi Germany. His mother Tekla Hanczarek came from a small community west of Lvov in Poland where her father was a forest warden. His father Jan was born in a farming community north of Poznan, Poland. John was born Zbigniew Guzlowski in a Displaced Persons camp in Vinenberg, Germany in 1948, and changed his name to John when he was naturalized.
His parents, his sister Donna , and he came to the US as DPs in 1951. After working on farms in western New York State to pay off their passage to America, they eventually settled in Chicago in the Polish area around St. Fidelis Parish and Humboldt Park. His father and mother worked in various factories in Chicago, and he attended St. Patrick High School and the University of Illinois (Chicago Circle). He took his PhD in English at Purdue University.
He is retired from Eastern Illinois University, where he taught contemporary American literature and poetry writing. His poems often deal with his parents' experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany, and a number of these poems appear in his new book Lightning and Ashes (Steel Toe Books) and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald (Finishing Line Press). These books continue the story of his parents that began in his chapbook Language of Mules. Jezyk Mulow i Inne Wiersze, a Polish-English edition of this chapbook and other poems, was published by Biblioteka Slaska in Katowice, Poland. His poems have appeared in a number of journals in the US and Poland. His essays on contemporary American authors can be found in such journals as Modern Fiction Studies, Shofar, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, Studies in Jewish American Literature, and Polish Review.
blogsites: everythings-jake.blogspot.com/ and lightning-and-ashes.blogspot.com/