The Polish Writers Union has bestowed the honor of Best Book of 2011 in poetry on "Winter Vision," a poetry collection by Western New York author Robert M. Giannetti. The award was presented to Giannetti at the 34th annual November of Poetry, an international festival held in Poznan, Poland, Nov. 3 and 4.
Giannetti's poems were translated into Polish and published in a bilingual edition in Poland under the title, "Wizja W Zimie/Winter Vision." The translator, Dariusz T. Lebioda, accompanied Giannetti on a book tour to various cities in Poland following the festival. Giannetti gave readings and lectures in universities, high schools, libraries - even a city nightclub - concluding the tour with a reading and book signing at the famous House of Literature in Warsaw.
"I am deeply honored to have received this Best Book award," Giannetti said, "particularly as it comes from a country that is an international powerhouse of fine poetry. Polish poets such as Czeslaw Milosz have been translated into so many other languages worldwide. I am indeed proud to have been translated into theirs."
Lebioda and other members of the Polish Writers Union have commented that Giannetti's poetry is very reminiscent of Milosz.
"Giannetti's poetry is very eloquent in its description of the natural world," Lebioda said, "and has a compelling spiritual dimension. There is a clear universality in his philosophical perspective and unflinching truth in his assessment of the human condition. He deserves to be better known not only in Poland but also in America. It would not be surprising were this book to place Giannetti in the ranks of American poets such as Kunitz, Stern, Levine and Collins, who have all enriched the treasure of world literature."
Giannetti comes from Lewiston, where he owns and operates an antiquarian bookshop, Bob's Olde Books. He was born in Queens and grew up on Long Island. He lists the following biographical touchstones of his career: Army officer, college teacher, garbage man and business owner. He is the author of a previous book of poems, "Drawn By The Creek" (2003).
Giannetti's website is www.robertmgiannetti.com.