Piotr is a poet, essayist, and translator of Polish poetry. His most recent books are East & West: Poems and Los Angeles Sketchbook (brief essays and photographs), plus several volumes of translations, including I’m Half of Your Heart: Selected Poems by Julian Kornhauser and Building the Barricade by Anna , which won the 2017 Found in Translation Award and the 2017 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Piotr and his wife Dena, who met as competitive swimmers, live with their daughter in Los Angeles, where he is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California and serves at Translations Editor for The Los Angeles Review.
As a poet, literary translator and university instructor, has long focused his work on history, World War II and the Holocaust. (As a teenager in Krakow, Poland, he witnessed Steven Spielberg’s film crew coming to his school to cast extras for Schindler’s List.) At the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, watched Visual History Archive testimonies by Polish Jews who talked about places in and around Krakow that himself knows from personal experience. To conclude his work at the Center, read several poems that covered not only events of the Holocaust but also his experiences learning about the Holocaust in Krakow, his fellowship at the Center, and his thoughts on the act of writing poetry based on testimonies of Holocaust survivors.