11.12.2022 Events, Literature

Literary evening: Polish Voices / Głosy z Polski

Julia Fiedorczuk, Hałyna Kruk (Ukraine), Grażyna Plebanek, Maja Wolny, Jakub Małecki and Alicja Gescinska


Poland is a literary powerhouse with as many as six Nobel Prize winners in literature. Its contemporary literary scene is rich and versatile. Cultural Bridges in Belgium (CBiB) vzw, in collaboration with ARSENAAL/LAZARUS, Passa Porta and the Polish Institute in Brussels, presents a sample of these Polish voices.

Polish Voices is a bilingual concept. The authors will read aloud the texts in Polish, whose translations will be projected. After the readings, the authors will engage in a conversation with Belgian-Polish writer and philosopher Alicja Gescinska. The trio composed of Anna Ciborowska, Cezariusz Gadzina and Christophe Devisscher will perform music by Krzysztof Komeda, a world-famous Polish film and jazz composer. The meeting is hosted by Ryszard Turbiasz, a Belgian-Polish actor from the ARSENAAL/LAZARUS theater.

A few words about the authors: 

Julia Fiedorczuk, often compared in Poland to Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska, undeniably has a strong personal voice. She identifies with ecopoetry, a movement of the Anglo-Saxon origin that she is well-acquainted with as a literary translator and professor of American literature at Warsaw University. In addition to multiple award-winning collections of poetry, such as “Psalmy” (‘The Psalms”), her work includes short stories, novels, such as “Nieważkość” (“Invulnerability”) and “Pod Słońcem” (“Under the Sun”), and essays, including “Cyborg w Ogrodzie: Wprowadzenie do Ekokrytyki” (“A Cyborg in the Garden: An Introduction to Ecocriticism”) and a book co-authored with Mexican poet and translator Gerardo Beltrán, “Ecopoetry”. She is a member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE).

Hałyna Kruk is a well-known Ukrainian poet. Her first two collections of poetry were published in 1997: “Mandry u Poshukakh Domu” (“Journeys in Search of Home”) and “Slidy na Pisku” (“Footprints on the Sand”). She also writes poems and novels for children. Her children’s books have been translated into 15 languages. Moreover, she translates the works of other writers from Polish into Ukrainian. In 2003, she received the Gaude Polonia scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture. Kruk was vice-president of the Ukrainian branch of the writers’ organization PEN. She is a professor of literary studies at the University of Lviv, where her research focuses on medieval literature in Ukraine. Her participation in the literary evening is an example of the strong cultural ties and solidarity between the Ukrainian and Polish societies.

Grażyna Plebanek, based in Brussels, has written, among others, the Polish bestsellers “Dziewczyny z Portofino” (“Girls from Portofino”) and “Nielegalne związki” (“Illegal Liaisons”), translated into English, as well as “Pani Furia” (“Furie”), translated into French. Grażyna Plebanek is a keen observer of the social life of her host country, which is why her latest book is titled, not by chance, “Bruksela” (“Brussels”). Far from denying her origins, she asserts that what makes Europe diverse is the contribution of its cultures. “I feel European with my Polish roots and my experience of Belgium”.

Maja Wolny, a Belgian-Polish journalist, and writer is fluent in Dutch which she learned throughout her stay in Belgian Flanders. Author of six novels, including “Czarne Liście” (“Zwarte Bladeren”) and “Księgobójca” (“De Boekenmoordenaar”) have received rave reviews in Flanders. In her historical novels, she does not hesitate to tackle the difficult aspects of Poland’s recent history. This year, she published a travel novel, “Pociąg do Tybetu” (“De trein naar Tibet”), excerpts from which she will be presenting at the literary evening in Mechelen.

Jakub Małecki is one of the most popular Polish writers of his generation. He is equally at home writing the pure fantasy genre, as well as prose containing bizarre plots or horror elements. In 2020, the Dutch translation of his bestseller “Rdza” (“Roest”) topped the ranking of the most popular books recommended by the Dutch booksellers. His novel “Saturnin” is eagerly awaited by the Dutch-speaking readers.

Sunday, December 11 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm




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