A revered Wendish poet, Mato Kosyk, known in the USA as Matthew Kossick, was born into a farmer’s family in DISSEN, a small village near DRACHHAUSEN, 18 June, 1853.  Raised in the Protestant faith, he dreamed of becoming a pastor, but did not have the educational qualifications to go to seminary school; having gone to high school in Cottbus, but never graduating; he was denied this option. Instead, he started writing.


In his first 6 years he created a rich body of literature and poetry; that today creates some of the only secular Wendish literature in existence, from that time. Some of his creations included: “The Sorbian Wedding,” an epic poem; “The Sorbian Ancestors’ Sufferings and Praise,” an historical trilogy; two plays, several hundred poems, and some prose.


In addition he worked as the coeditor of the “Brandenberg News,” the only Lower Sorbian weekly and he revised and partly retranslated 1/3 of the Lutheran hymnal to Wendish.


In 1883, he traveled to America from Hamburg to attend the Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Ill. and another seminary in Chicago, part of the Missouri Synod.


In 1885 he became the minister of the Lutheran Church in WELLSBURG, IOWA, which was part of the Wartburg Synod, preaching in German. He also ministered in Nebraska and Oklahoma, before he retired in ALBION, OKLAHOMA, in 1913.


He wrote poetry in the Wendish language throughout his life. In 1883, he wrote “in A Strange Land” about his first impressions upon landing in New York City; which was not translated to English until 2001.


In 1933, he wrote “Farewell to My Home” a poem asking God never to forget Lusatia. This poem appeared in the last Lower Sorbian Book Calendar, “Pratyja” in 1935, it’s last publication before it was forbidden by the Third Reich. This publication is today again being published. It is edited by Erwin Hannusch, in COTTBUS, and included an article on the Iowa Wends in its 2006 edition. Erwin is a DRACHHAUSEN Wend.


The haunting poem “Albion” was written in 1915, after the death of his son and wife, reflecting that Matthew felt tied, for the rest of his life, to the land where they were buried, near their farm in ALBION, OKLAHOMA.

New August 17, 2006





This site is created, maintained and owned by Iowa Wendish Heritage Study Group | Copyright © by Iowa Wendish Heritage Study Group | All rights reserved | This site may be linked to but not duplicated in whole or in part without our consent.