Czesław Miłosz ([ˈt͡ʂɛswaf ˈmiwɔʂ] (listen); 30 June 1911 – 14 August 2004) was a Polish poet, prose writer, translator and diplomat. He always identified strongly as well with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as he was born in what is now Kaunas County, grew up in rural Lithuania, and was educated at university in the city of Vilnius which at the time was in northeastern Poland.
His World War II-era sequence The World is a collection of twenty "naïve" poems. Following the war, he served as Polish cultural attaché in Paris and Washington, D.C., and in 1951 defected to the West. His nonfiction book The Captive Mind (1953) became a classic of anti-Stalinism. From 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley.
He became a U.S. citizen in 1970. In 1978 he was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and in 1980 the Nobel Prize in Literature for his poetry, essays and other writing. In 1999 he was named a Puterbaugh Fellow. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he divided his time between Berkeley, California, and Kraków, Poland.