The Czesław Miłosz Poetry University

Lectures, kinetic poetry, workshops and more festival guests: Xavier Farré, Marta Podgórnik, Krzysztof Siwczyk, Dariusz Suska

The Miłosz Festival is an excellent occasion and at the same time a pretext to engage with the educational and creative work of young adepts of the art of translation and literary criticism, as well as students of art schools. During this year’s Miłosz Festival, poets, critics and literary translators will share their knowledge and teach how to understand, interpret and translate modern poetry during workshop meetings. There will also be an exhibition of photography and illustrations, as well as a demonstration of kinetic poetry. We are also adding four new names to the list of festival guests.

 

The inspiration for the works presented in the Drawings from Useful Books exhibitions are poems selected and translated by Czesław Miłosz for the Excerpts from Useful Books volume. The exhibition presents interpretations of poetry by young adepts of the art of illustration, made in various techniques, from simple pencil to digital techniques. The works presented in this intimate exhibition were designed as book illustrations. The authors of the works are students of the Illustration Studio of the Fine Arts Academy in Katowice. The exhibition is the continuation of the cooperation of the Academy, the City of Literature Foundation and the New Art Foundation ZNACZY SIĘ. The exhibit will be open from the 13 to 29 May at the ZNACZY SIĘ Gallery, ul. Kościuszki 37.

 

Thanks to Joanna Gromek-Illg, we will pay a visit to Miłosz’s Lithuania. In the photography exhibition The Privilege of Stones? we will take a look at the favourite places of the author of The Bells In Winter. The author of the exhibition says: “I tried to find places Miłosz frequented, walked all over the old town centre with a book of poetry, trying to answer the question contained in a poem: is persistence the privilege of stones? Can we, wandering through beautiful Vilnius years later, find the sense that Miłosz gave the statement ‘nothing has changed here’?” The opening of the exhibit will take place on 14 May at 5:30 p.m. in Pałac Pod Baranami, and the exhibition will be open throughout the duration of the Festival.

 

During the kinetic poetry show – organised in cooperation with the Poemat Foundation, the New Art Foundation ZNACZY SIĘ and the Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology in Warsaw – Czesław Miłosz’s poetry will be displayed on the wall of the building at ul. Bracka. The authors of the films – students of the PJIIT, have prepared their own interpretations of the works, based on the dynamic change of the content, in space and rhythm, and using light as a medium. The show uses the Miłosz typeface, awarded in the Type Design International Student Competition organised in Krakow to commemorate the centennial of the birth of the Nobelist. The shows will be held after dark from 14 to 17 May.

 

Let us remind you, by the way, that everyone wishing to hone their literary criticism skills is invited to workshops on the interpretation of the poetry of Czesław Miłosz and contemporary Polish poets, organised in cooperation with the Department of Contemporary Criticism of the Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University and the Krakow Literature Foundation. Classes will be conducted by Tomasz Kunz, Krzysztof Siwczyk, Piotr Śliwiński and Marta Wyka. The workshops will be summed up during a panel with the participation of the leaders of the workshops of the 4th Miłosz Festival, which will be moderated by Tomasz Cieślak-Sokołowski. Sign-ups are open until 30 April at warsztaty@fundacjamiastoliteratury.pl. For more information, see www.miloszfestival.pl.

 

A continuation of the poetry translation workshops conducted during the previous Festival, there will be workshop meetings for students with the participation of the foreign guests of the Festival, organised with the Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University.

 

Finally, let us meet the guests of this year’s Festival: Xavier Farré, Catalan poet and literary critic, translation from Polish and Slovenian, award-winning and internationally acclaimed translator of the poetry of Czesław Miłosz, Adam Zagajewski, but also young Polish poetry. Catalan ardour and Central European melancholy resonate in the works of Farré, who combines these two elements living in Krakow and working at the Jagiellonian University.

 

Marta Podgórnik, poet, literary critic, translator and editor, the author of volumes published by the Biuro Literackie publisher (including Długi maj (The Long May), Opium i Lament (Opium and Lament), Dwa do Jeden (Two to One)), will also appear at the Festival. Her poems escape generational trends and seasonal fashions, and her newest tome, Zawsze (Always) is gathering rave reviews.

 

Another guest of the Festival will be Krzysztof Siwczyk – a poet, author of several volumes of poetry (including Emil i my (Emil and We), Wiersze dla palących (Poems for Smokers), Dokąd bądź (Anywhere)) and literary criticism books. For the volume he wrote at the age of eighteen, Dzikie Dzieci (Wild Children) (1995), he received the Czas Kultury monthly award for best poetry debut. He is inspired by the avant-garde and the neo-avant-garde traditions, and at the basis of his work is the conviction about the deep crisis of the language and the inability of the story. He has also played the title role in the feature film Wojaczek (1999).

 

We will also host Dariusz Suska, poet, novelist and screenwriter. His volume Wszyscy nasi dobrzy zakopani (All Our Buried Dead) received the Polish Association of Book Publishers award in 2002 and was nominated for the Nike Literary Award in 2000. His book Cała w piachu (Covered in sand) was a finalist for the 2004 Nike Awards. His work often explores the themes of death and ugliness, but also existential problems and metaphysical issues.