17 May 2012 Marek Bieńczyk nominated for the NIKE Award!

Marek Bieńczyk’s essay, Książka twarzy (The Facebook), appeared among the titles nominated for this year’s 16th edition of the Nike Literary Awards – the most important literary award in Poland. We would like to remind you that Marek Bieńczyk is a friend of the Conrad Festival.

In a review of Bieńczyk’s book, Dariusz Nowacki wrote in Gazeta Wyborcza: This is my Facebook. On more than 400 pages, Bieńczyk presents his literary-existential profile. I talk about things that mean something to me. To put it simply, Bieńczyk shows how he writes and what he lives and breathes. Dozens of his friends’ portraits are next to the profile owner’s face, as on Facebook. Among them: Chandler, Chateaubriand, Baudelaire, Krasiński, Słowacki, football coaches Beenhakker and Górski, tennis player Agassi. A block of five sports texts is the most intimate part of the book – Światło bramki (The Centre of the Goal) is one of the most beautiful essays about childhood and fatherhood as seen from the son’s perspective in Polish literature. Sports connected us more than anything – notes Bieńczyk, talking about his relation to his father. But the passion for sports is also a metaphor that describes the shaping of the character of this young man from Grochów, his vision of the world, his desires and ideals. Entirely private matters are combined with the social image and significance of sports in the middle of the era of the Polish People’s Republic – the phenomenon of Górski’s dream team and the explosion of the popularity of tennis in the 1970s.

Marek Bieńczyk: writer, historian, translator (Cioran’s and Kundera’s among others), essayist, oenologist. He graduated from Romance studies at the University of Warsaw. He works as a literary historian at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is also a lecturer at the Creative Writing School of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

Nike is an award for the best book of the year. It is always awarded on the first Sunday of October, for the 16th time this year. All literary genres may take part in the competition. The award cannot be divided or not awarded. It is reserved for living authors. The winner is determined in three stages. The first one includes 20 nominations announced in May during the Warsaw Book Fair, and the second one involves the selection of seven finalists in early September. The decision on granting the award is made by the jury on the day of the award ceremony. The winner receives PLN 100,000 and the Nike statuette sculptured by Professor Gustaw Zemła.

Nike Award winners to date:

1997 - Wiesław Myśliwski Widnokrąg
1998 - Czesław Miłosz Piesek przydrożny (Roadside Dog)
1999 - Stanisław Barańczak Chirurgiczna precyzja (Surgical Precision)
2000 - Tadeusz Różewicz Matka odchodzi (Mother Departs)
2001 - Jerzy Pilch Pod Mocnym Aniołem (The Mighty Angel)
2002 - Joanna Olczak-Ronikier W ogrodzie pamięci
2003 - Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz Zachód słońca w Milanówku (Sunset in Milanówek)
2004 - Wojciech Kuczok Gnój
2005 - Andrzej Stasiuk Jadąc do Babadag (Travelling to Babadag)
2006 - Dorota Masłowska Paw królowej
2007 - Wiesław Myśliwski Traktat o łuskaniu fasoli
2008 - Olga Tokarczuk Bieguni (Runners)
2009 - Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki Piosenka o zależnościach i uzależnieniach
2010 - Tadeusz Słobodzianek Nasza klasa
2011 - Marian Pilot Pióropusz