Poetry Against Crisis

Money and, to be precise, the lack of it, is the theme of this year’s edition of the Poetry Night which will take place in Krakow on Friday evening (the 6th of September) and will continue into early Saturday (the 7th of September). Outstanding authors will square off against one another during attractive poetry meetings. there will also be numerous concerts and poetry shows. Entrance is free of charge, although you may need to pick up free tickets for some of the events.

Poetry lovers will have a chance to meet poets representing various poetry streams and experience poetry in various forms and interpretations, presented both by its authors and famous stage artists.

“This event inscribes perfectly into a series of events related to literature, poetry and promotion the of readership that is held in our city, especially when Krakow is candidating for the prestigious title of UNESCO City of Literature,” Stanisław Dziedzic, the head of the city’s Department of Culture and National Heritage, said in today’s (Thursday, the 29th of August) conference.

“We are closer and closer to receiving this title, perhaps we will manage to earn it this year,” said Robert Piaskowski, deputy director of Krakow Festival Office. “Krakow’s application for the title of UNESCO City of Literature has already passed through all the stages of formal assessment within UNESCO. We are waiting for an evaluation from PEN International,” he added.

The core element in the programme of the third edition of Poetry Night, which is executed within the Krakow Nights series, will be an open air multimedia show at Krakow’s Market Square. The show, based on Bronisław Maj’s script and directed by Jerzy Zoń, will feature artists of KTO Theatre, which specializes in such productions. Ewa Kornecka will prepare the music, Joanna Jaśko-Sroka will provide the stage design and costumes, while Eryk Makohon is the author of choreography. “We will see Anna Dymna, Ewa Kaim, Krzysztof Globisz and Szymon Kuśmider on stage,” said Jerzy Zoń, the director of KTO Theatre.

This year’s play, Arka B [The B-Arc] is based on Stanisław Barańczak’s works (from poems from his debut collection Korekta twarzy [Facial Corrections] of 1968 through Chirurgiczna precyzja [Surgical Precision] of 1998). The play’s keynote and motif is built around a symbolic fate of an unidentified person (just like in the poem Sztuczne oddychanie [Artificial Breathing]), a contemporary everyman from a morality play, a universal hero whose life “everyone” can find similar to their own. The hero is accompanied in his journey by three other characters: his “dark” alter ego and personifications of Good and Evil.

The journey of this hero (“each of us”) will be presented from an existential and metaphysical perspective and will be as far as possible for any ideological or political one. All of Market Square will become a stage for very precise, symbolic and purely theatrical images and events that will picture this journey. The poetical text will be supplemented with music, lighting, choreography and changes into the space that will take place in front of the viewers. The truly multimedia show, “theatre vast”, will attempt to ask once again the most important questions about the condition and identity of contemporary – and, perhaps, future – humanity.

The theme of this year’s Poetry Night is “Poetry Against Crisis” that is poetry about money. Outstanding authors will square off against one another during attractive poetry meetings. There will also be numerous concerts and poetry shows.

Within the scope of the Poetry Night, poetry meetings and soirées will take place with participation of New Wave poets who debuted in the second half of the 1960s, for whom the March of 1968 and the December of 1970 were generation-forming events, the legendary “Tylicz” group (a meeting entitled Tylicz i okolice [Tylicz and Its Region] – Klub Dziennikarzy Pod Gruszką at 9.45 p.m.).

A meeting with Wojciech Bonowicz hosted by Anna Marchewka will begin at 3.30 p.m. at Nowa Prowincja. Guests of subsequent meetings will include: Krzysztof Lisowski, Józef Baran, Stanisław Stabro. Urszula Kozioł will come to visit Krakow specifically to participate in this event. A meeting with the poet will be hosted by Andrzej Franaszek (Wyspiański Pavilion at 6.30 p.m.).

The programme also includes several interesting concerts based on poetry, among others, Postylla domowa Bertolta Brechta [Bertold Brecht’s Home Postil] comprised of songs from The Threepenny Opera and Frank the Fifth. Opera of a Private Bank with live music, which will take place at Małopolska Garden of Arts (Juliusz Słowacki Theatre), Julian Tuwim’s Bal w operze [The Ball at the Opera] (Juliusz Słowacki Theatre) executed according to the ideal and performed by Krzysztof Orzechowski, the director of the Theatre, and a musical Wszystkim za wszystko…. Pieniądze! [To All and For All… Money!] at the Loch Camelot cabaret. Agnieszka Grochowicz’s recital (Piosenki pisane nie dla pieniędzy [Songs Written Not For Money]) will take place at Śródmiejski Ośrodek Kultury, while Agata Bernadt and Adam Niedzielin will tell us about poetry that does not subdue to crisis in a concert entitled O bogatych poetach i najdroższych wierszach [On Wealthy Poets and Most Precious Poems] at Klub Aktora “Loża”. Renata Przemyk will perform at the Market Square at 9.30 p.m.

The schedule of the Poetry night also includes theatre plays which, in their style, refer to various poetry streams. We will be able to see a monodrama based on Anna Świrszczyńska’s texts performed by a young actress, Edyta Kucak, directed by Piotr Sobolczyk, staged at Śródmiejski Ośrodek Kultury. Especially for that night, Ziuta Zającówna will prepare Miron Białoszewski’s monodrama Kabaret Kici Koci [A Pussycat Cabaret] (Krakow University of Technology’s Scena Teatru Zależnego). The Barakah Theatre will stage Gdyby w sklepach sprzedawano sny… [If Shops Sold Dreams…] meaning fairytales! The programme includes interpretations of works by Jean de La Fontaine, Ignacy Krasicki, Jan Brzechwa and Julian Tuwim.

The Poetry Night also means events which combine word and music prepared by the Krakow division of Związek Literatów Polskich [Polish Writers’ Union] (Dokąd mnie niesiesz życie na swoich kościstych ramionach? [Where Are You Taking Me Upon Your Bony Arms, Life?]) or the Krakow division of Stowarzyszenie Pisarzy Polskich [Polish Writers’ Association] (Wiersze nieocenione [Invaluable Poems]). We will not lack avant-garde nor digital poetry owing to Korporacja Ha!art’s involvement. Accompanying events include as many as three events at Księgarnia Muzyczna Kurant in the Market Square.

Entrance to all events is free of charge. To participate in the following ones, you will need to pick up free tickets: Bal w operze at Juliusz Słowacki Theatre (tickets available at the theatre’s box office from September 5th); Piosenki pisane nie dla pieniędzy at Śródmiejski Ośrodek Kultury (tickets available at Śródmiejski Ośrodek Kultury from September 5th); Podróż zimowa at Krakow Opera (tickets available at the Opera’s box office from the 5th of September); Coś dla ducha at Radio Kraków (book your tickets by phone at 601 531 661 or e-mail: lidia.jazgar@radiokrakow.pl); Impresje nagiej ciszy at Alicja Tanew’s Ata (book your free tickets by phone at 12 633 54 05, 503 855 770 or e-mail: alicja@tanew.info.pl) and Wszystkim za wszystko… Pieniądze! at Loch Camelot (book by text message at 602 763 680 or e-mail: fundacja@lochcamelot.art.pl).

The events is being organised by the City of Krakow and co-organized by KTO Theatre (a municipal cultural institution). Nowa Prowincja (for the third time), Klub Pod Jaszczurami, Klub Aktora Loża and Bona Książka i Kawa have also joined the organisational body by making their premises available for Poetry Night’s events.
Media patronage over this year’s edition of Poetry Night includes: TVP Kraków, Dziennik Polski, Magiczny Kraków Internet portal, Dwutygodnik Miejski KRAKÓW.PL biweekly magazine, Karnet monthly magazine and Radio Kraków, owing to which this year’s edition of Poetry Night will be enriched in a jubilee radio broadcast Coś dla ducha [Something for the Soul], which is a special episode of Lidia Jazgar’s show with the participation of Galicja band (a live broadcast on air at Radio Kraków).
Additional information is available at: www.krakowskienoce.pl and www.krakow.pl.

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