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Study of Literature and Art at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Study of Literature and Art is the oldest school of creative writing in Poland, operating at the Jagiellonian University since 1994. Among its lecturers are the most outstanding writers, poets, critics and experts in various fields helpful for novice writers. Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska, Stanisław Lem, Marek Nowakowski, Olga Tokarczuk and many others taught here. Currently, the staff of the Study comprises Marek Bieńczyk, Piotr Sommer, Michał Rusinek, Karol Maliszewski, Brygida Helbig, Ewa Chruściel, Roman Honet.
The study takes the form of a two-year postgraduate school of creative writing.
All willing are welcome to participate in the classes, regardless of their previous literary oeuvre, age or place of residence (students come from across Poland, and even from Vienna and Brussels). The prerequisite to study is primarily to have a writing talent – and a BA or MA degree.
Classes are held every two weeks. These include, among others, workshops, poetry, prose, drama, screenplay, non-fiction, as well as lectures and seminars on literature, theatre, film and copyright. You graduate with writing a thesis (prepared under the supervision of the tutor), which may be a book of prose or poetry, a drama or a scenario.
Detailed information can be found at: website.
Enrolment for the study is held from June to September/October. The Writing School accepts both the accomplished candidates, as well as those who are more hesitant and timid about their writing and want to bring out the latent, or polish the emerging beginner’s talent. Information about enrolment can be found here.
The Study of Literature and Art, also known as the School of Writers, is the first school of creative writing in Poland. The study was established in 1994, by the initiative and according to the original idea of Prof. Gabriela Matuszek (who remains its head until today) on the then Polish Philology Faculty of the Jagiellonian University. The project was supported by Prof. Andrzej Borowski and a group of lecturers: Prof. Marta Wyka, Prof. Jerzy Jarzębski and Dr. Bronisław Maj.
The studies combine a writing workshop (in prose, poetry, drama, playwriting and publishing) with lectures on the broader contemporary culture, aesthetics, copyright law, theory of the creative process etc. Classes are held by eminent writers and experts, including Włodzimierz Maciąg, Jan Józef Szczepański, Władysław Stróżewski, Tadeusz Nyczek, Jerzy Illg, Julian Kornhauser, Stanisław Stabro, Andrzej Wajda, Maciej Słomczyński, Stefan Chwin, Antoni Libera, Dorota Terakowska, Michał Paweł Markowski, Jerzy Stuhr, Olga Tokarczuk, Izabela Filipiak, Marek Bieńczyk, Sławomir Shuty, Stanisław Stabro, Michał Rusinek, Roman Honet, Agata Tuszyńska, Michał Zabłocki, Piotr Sommer, Marek Sołtysik, Robert Ostaszewski, Wojciech Kudyba, Marcin Hamkało and many other (full list of lecturers can be found here).
In 1995, the SLA released the first issue of the STUDIUM magazine, edited by students of the first year. The magazine presented the most interesting phenomena of the young and the youngest literature, both Polish and foreign. Since 1997, each issue of the bi-monthly was complemented by a book from the series Library of STUDIUM, with Roman Honet as the series’ editor-in-chief. Among them were many important débuts nominated for literary awards such as the NIKE Award, K. Iłłakowiczówna Award, or the Award of the Poznań Review of Publishing Novelties. Over time, Studium, running until 2008, has become one of the most important young literature magazines in the country.
On March 21, 1998 died Maciej Słomczyński, a writer who meant so much to the students and the life of the School. Due to his work contribution and friendship bestowed on the students, the School established a literary award by his name. In 2004, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Study of Literature and Art, a Literature Festival was held, Literature against a new reality,including a scientific conference and the Maciej Słomczyński Literary Contest for the best literary work by students and graduates of the Study. Awarded were a book of poetry, Poems For Reading by Anna Tomaszewska, which was published by Wydawnictwo Literackie Publishing House (2005). A honorary mention was awarded to a book of poetry by Ewa Wawrzyńska, Hand Baggage.
So far, there have been three editions of the competition. The second edition was held in June 2009, on the fifteenth anniversary of the School. Three books were awarded then: a book of poetry Thighs Where Dogs Sleep by Justyna Machałowska, collected short stories by Agnieszka Czachor Cast A Lightning Even At Death, and a novel Panta Deus by Kamil Majewski. In the third edition of the competition, organised to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the SLA, awarded were Katarzyna Janicka, for her collected short stories Prospect Park Stories (1st place), Ewa Szumowska for a book Jaspiska Wola (2nd place) and Michał Kozłowski, for his book of poetry Chin Wag (3rd place; the book later received the 2015 WARTO Award in the category literature). Honorary mentions went to books of poetry: Here On Earth by Tomasz Nowak and Cliches by Tatiana Judycka.
Since 2007, Księgarnia Akademicka publishing house has been releasing the SLA Series, publishing the award-winning works, and the best books by the students and alumni of the Study, as well as anthologies and collected works. The first publication in the series was the book Slang, putting together the most interesting poetic achievements of the graduates of all SLA years since 2007. In 2015, the series released the first critical book – Creative Writing In Theory And Practice, a pioneer Polish collection of studies, essays and lectures on the theory, teaching and practice of creative writing, co-edited by Gabriela Matuszek and Hanna Sieja-Skrzypulec.
Achievements and perspectives
SLA graduates boast numerous successes, win literary prizes in prestigious competitions, and are active in various areas of the literary and artistic life (read about the successes of SLA graduates here). In 2007, by the initiative of the people involved in the promotion of these achievements, founded was the Association of Alumni, Lecturers and Students of the Study of Literature and Art of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. It has always supported all students and graduates of the SLA UJ, co-organizing events and author’s evenings. Currently the president of the association is Ewa Wawrzyńska. Up-to-date information on the activities of the association can be found here.
Follow the literary life of the SLA community on the SLA fanpage.
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