Aleksander Janta-Polczynski was born on December 11, 1908 in Poznan, Poland. He was a poet and an editor. His first poem was published in 1928. During the 20s he wrote mostly poems, stories and articles about hunting. Later he started to travel and published articles and letters from his tours. He traveled to many countries between 1930 and 1939, including: France, Great Britain, the United States, USSR, China, Italy, Lithuania, Japan, Abyssinia, Mongolia, India, Afghanistan, Burma, Siam, Indochina, and Formosa. Polczynskis extensive experience has led many to refer to him as the father of Polish travel articles.
His most famous books are: Inside Russia (1933), Made in Japan (1935), Capital of Silver Magic (1936), and The Earth Is Round (1936). Polczynski is also famous for his war chronicles, which recount his experiences during the Second World War: joining the French campaign, imprisonment in a German Stalag (officers labor camp), partisan activity, fighting in Spain, Gibraltar and London, working for the Polish embassy in Washington, fighting in Belgium and The Netherlands, and finally moving to New York at the end of the war.
After moving to the United States, he wrote the following books:
- Identity Sign (1958),
- Woods and People (1960),
- Norwid Trails in America (1962),
- Division Line (1963),
- Flute and Apocalypse (1965),
- The Book of Journey, Adventures and Memories (1967),
- Shelter (1970),
- Robert Frost and Other American Poets (1970),
- Warning for Grandchildren (1971),
- To the Bottom of Existence (1972),
- Nice to Meet You (1973),
- Second Warning (1973).
Aleksander Janta-Polczynski died in 1974 in a hospital in Southampton. His remains were buried in Powazki cemetery in Warsaw.