The Wisława Szymborska Award

Five nominees: Justyna Bargielska for her volume Bach for my baby, Krystyna Dąbrowska for Białe krzesła, Łukasz Jarosz for Pełna krew, Krzysztof Karasek for Dziennik rozbitka, and Jan Polkowski for Głosy are competing for the Wisława Szymborska Award, awarded for the first time this year. We will find out who the winner is in two weeks (on Saturday, the 16th of October) during a festive gala at the Malopolska Garden of Arts. The Gala will be held under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski and it will be broadcast by the TVN24 channel. The Gala will be hosted by actress Agata Kulesza, and the event will include a concert of Aga Zaryan, who will present compositions from her latest album, Remembering Nina & Abbey, dedicated to the figures of Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln.

The Wisława Szymborska Award, awarded for the first time this year, is an international prize granted for a volume of poetry published in Polish (originally written in Polish or translated into Polish from another language). The winner will receive a statuette and a cheque for PLN 200,000. The winner will be selected by a jury including: Anders Bodegård (Sweden), Clare Cavanagh (USA), Maria Delaperriere (France), Luigi Marinelli (Italy), Abel Murcia Soriano (Spain), Adam Pomorski (Poland), Renate Schmidgall (Germany), and Marian Stala (Poland).

The Wisława Szymborska Award aims at popularising poetry. “We want to attract the attention of both readers and publishers; encourage them to publish works by Polish authors and translations of foreign-language poetry, of which there still isn’t enough on the Polish book market,” says Paulina Małochleb, secretary of the Wisława Szymborska Award. “Opposing haste, superficial participation in culture, and the domination of mass literature, we want to enhance the status or poetry as a kind of difficult, but important art. We reward authors who are able to retain independence, create their own world that is not prone to external circumstances, who operate words in a masterly fashion. Justyna Bargielska may be considered a poet of a private, intimate voice. Krystyna Dąbrowska focuses on the life of objects and through them, she talks about the secrets of existence. Łukasz Jarosz introduces nostalgic motifs, refers to the world of childhood experiences. Krzysztof Karasek records chaos – his own, internal chaos, but also that beyond-individual, external chaos. Jan Polkowski is a poet of struggle and resistance, the community spirit. The poetry volumes selected by the jury represent different poetic dictions, they form diverse worlds; what they do have in common is individualism and the power of poetic expression,” emphasises the Award’s secretary.

A day after the award ceremony, the Wisława Szymborska Foundation would like to invite everyone to the Arteteka of the Regional Public Library in Krakow (ul. Rajska 12) to a meeting with the winner. The event begins at 5 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: journalists interested in participating in the Gala are requested to send in completed accreditation forms by e-mail to akredytacje@szymborska.org.pl by the 11th of November. Due to the television broadcast, we request that everyone arrives at the Malopolska Garden of Arts an hour before the Gala begins (at 7 p.m.). PLEASE NOTE: due to the television broadcast, taking photographs is not allowed during the Gala.

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