Eastern Express: Book launches – “Wakacje nad Letą and “Cyrk i inne wiersze”


Book launches: Halyna Kruk’s “Wakacje nad Letą” and Julia Cimafiejewa’s “Cyrk i inne wiersze” and poetry reading.

Participants: Julia Cimafiejewa, Halyna Kruk. Discussion – Bohdan Zadura, Andrzej Niewiadomski. Moderator – Łukasz Janicki

Where: Próba Cafe – patio

Halyna Kruk “Wakacje nad Letą”

A selection of poems translated by Bohdan Zadura. This is the first volume of Halyna Kruk’s poems published in Poland.
“Wakacje nad Letą” is metaphysical poetry in which the poet comes to terms with mortal life. Human nature tends to assign permanent identity to things and people, while in reality everything goes through constant changes. The poet claims that only by breaking with what we know and are used to can we remain authentic. Regardless of everything, the end that mercilessly breaks what is seemingly unbreakable still comes and this is why “life is really what / we’ve lost”.

Halyna Kruk (b. 1974 in Lviv) – writer, translator, scriptwriter, literature historian. She is the author of five poetry books – “Journeys in Search of a Home”, “Footprints on Sand” (both 1997), “The Face beyond the Photograph” (2005), “Co(an)existence” (2013) and “An Adult Woman” (2017). Her poems and pieces have been included in numerous anthologies and translated into many languages. She has written 5 books for children, two of which have been published in 15 languages (as part of the international children’s project “Step by Step”). She translates other works from Polish, Belarusian and Russian (she has published, among others, Kazimierz Wierzyński’s poems, Stanisław Lem’s “Mystery of the Chinese Room”, Wojciech Górecki’s “A toast to our ancestors”). Winner of several international literary contest, a fellow of Gaude Polonia Scholarship granted by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2003, 2010) and Villa Decius Homines Urbani in Cracow (2005) as well as the Baltic Centre of Writers and Translators in Gotland (Sweden, 2007, 2018). She is the vice chairwoman of the Ukrainian PEN Club. She lives in Lviv and teaches at Lviv University.

Julia Cimafiejewa “Cyrk i inne wiersze”

The poems have been selected and translated by Bohdan Zadura.  Julia Cimafiejewa offers emotional poetry in which concise form strengthens the dynamics and intensity of imagery. The metaphor of the wandering circus with a procession of characters and events reflects a sense of existential chaos. The volume is filled with a dream of abandoning all forms of existence and created “I”. At the same time, it is an expression of postmodernist suspicion towards the cognitive value of language and symbols – sensual experience of self and the world wins with the rationality of the brain. Despite everything, Cimafiejewa’s poetry does not have catastrophic visions of culture, but vitality and affirmation of life.

Julia Cimafiejewa (b.1982) – studied English at Minsk State Linguistic University and was awarded an M.A. in literary studies at Belarusian State University. She’s an English language translator. The author of poetry volumes and poetry translations “Księga Błędów” (2014) and the poetry volume “Cyrk” (2016). Co-founder and editor of the Internet literary magazine “PrajdziSvet”.  Her works and translations have been published in many Belarusian magazines and her poems have been translated into English, Lithuanian, Swedish, Slovene, Czech and Ukrainian. She has won the “Exlibris” Competition for Young Writers organized by the Belarusian Writers’ Union. Her “Księga Błędów” was shortlisted for the Debut Prize. In 2018, along with two other translators, she received the Debut Prize for her translation of Charles Bukowski’s work. She participated in Nordic Summer Festival of Literature (Lithuania, 2014), Central-European Literary Festival Vilenica (Slovenia, 2016), “Kyiv Lawry” (“Kiev Laurels”) poetry festival (Ukraine, 2017), Stranou festival (the Czech Republic, 2017), Poetry Festival “Poems on Pavement: (Belarus, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018). She was a resident of the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators (2013, 2017). She lives in Minsk.

Bohdan Zadura – b. 1945 in Puławy. A member of the editorial magazine „Akcent” (1980-2004) and the monthly”Twórczość” (from 1983 and from autumn 2004 – editor in chief). Poet, writer, translator. Publishes in most Polish literary and cultural magazines. Translates English, Russian, Ukrainian and Hungarian. He has translated, among others, works by Jurij Andruchowycz, Andrij Bondar, Andrij Lubka, Wasyl Machno, Sierhij Żadan.

Andrzej Niewiadomski – b.1965  in Lidzbark Warmiński. Poet, essayist, critic, literature researcher, editor. Maria Curie Skłodowska University professor in Lubin. Author of 9 poetry volumes, the essay „Mapa. Prolegomena” (Lublin, 2012), numerous articles and skethes. The co-founder and, in the years 1989-2010, the editor of „Kresy” Literary Quarterly. 

Łukasz Janicki 
 –  editor of „Akcent” literary quarterly, a holder of the scholarship funded by the City of Lublin.