About the festival

The Miłosz Festival is the largest celebration of poetry in Poland and in Central Europe. The biggest names of world literature attend every edition. The festival emerged from Meetings of Poets of the East and the West, organised by Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz in 1997 and 2000 in Kraków. Five years after Czesław Miłosz died, the Polish Book Institute organised first edition of the festival entitled “The Captivated Mind”.

The Miłosz Festival asks an important question about the place of poetry in the modern world. The events of the 5th Miłosz Festival focused on the poetic wandering and contemporary nomadism, which takes various shapes. Our guests – Polish poets and artists from all over the world – were reading poems, in which they try to deal with the issue of getting to know their land and talk about their poetic journeys, about searching for and dispersing their identities, about wandering in real space and in spaces of languages, about the experiences of migration. During the poetic evening, the audience had a unique opportunity to listen to the voices of many poets from Belgium (Stefan Hertmans), South Africa and France (Breyten Breytenbach), Sri Lanka and Canada (Michael Ondaatje), Syria and France (Adonis), Libya and Norway (Ashur Etwebi), Russia (Olga Sedakova) and Poland. Individual meetings provided another opportunity to listen to the poems by our guests and talk about their experiences with the space of world and the language.

Krakow was visited by outstanding poets, representatives of many cultures and places in the world – Charles Simic (USA), Robert Hass (USA), Ruth Padel (UK), Valzyna Mort, (Belarus/USA), Marie Lundquist (Sweden), Uroš Zupan (Slovenia), among others.

Since 2014 Miłosz Festival has been organised by Krakow Festival Office and City of Literature Foundation. The organisers proposed new organisational scheme of the Festival and appointed an Honorary Committee and a Programme Board and changed from a biannual to an annual festival.


Krzysztof Siwczyk

Artistic Director of the Miłosz Festival

Olga Brzezińska

Programme Director of the Miłosz Festival

Izabela Błaszczyk

Executive Director of the Miłosz Festival

Oliwia Fryc

Executive Coordinator of the Miłosz Festival

Elżbieta Foltyniak


Honorary Committee:

Aleksander Fiut
Robert Hass
Ryszard Krynicki
Anthony Miłosz
Adam Pomorski
Aleksander Schenker
Adam Zagajewski

Programme Board:

Krzysztof Czyżewski
Magda Heydel
Jerzy Illg
Jerzy Jarniewicz
Zofia Król
Marek Radziwon
Tomasz Różycki
Abel Murcia Soriano