Organizers' announcement on this year's edition of the Miłosz Festival

Dear Friends of the Miłosz Festival,

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have held out hope that we would all manage to meet in Krakow in June. However, the development of the situation makes it necessary to above all think about the safety of our audience, guests, creators, and organisational team. To ensure this, we have decided that this year, the Miłosz Festival will not take place in its traditional form and at the planned time. We are currently working on a new formula for this special edition, which will allow all readers to have lively contact with poetry and permit us to maintain the bond between creators and audience.

Poetry is and always has been important to us; in this time, when we all face a new challenge, we still see a special role and place for it. Although we will not be able to meet in person at festival events, we will meet in the space of literature, for which we will find a form and field of expression. We will keep you informed of all changes.

Thank you for all the kinds words and gestures of support that reach us. It is because of them that we know what we do is important.

In conclusion, with the hope that we will meet again soon, we dedicate to you a poem by the Festival Patron:

Czesław Miłosz, Hope

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you’re sure it’s there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

(translated by Czesław Miłosz and Robert Hass)

Warmest regards,

Olga Brzezińska
Programme Director of the Miłosz Festival

Izabela Helbin
Executive Director of the Miłosz Festival

Krzysztof Siwczyk
Artistic Director of the Miłosz Festival