26 October 2012 The Wisława Szymborska Award

The Wisława Szymborska Poetry Award will amount to PLN 200,000. The winner of the first edition of the contest will be announced in September 2013. The rules of the contest were announced today (the 26th of October) during the Creative Cities and Regions literary conference. The contest is organised and the award is funded by the Wisława Szymborska Foundation.

“I would like to stress the fact that it was the will of Wisława Szymborska that the award named after her be closely linked to Krakow,” said Michał Rusinek, President of the Foundation. “And it will be so, as the awards ceremony will always be organised in September, always in Krakow,” he added.

The Wisława Szymborska Award will be an international one, and will be awarded for a poetic book published in Polish in the preceding year. Volumes of poetry published in Polish or translated to Polish are eligible take part in the contest. Award candidates can be submitted by publishing houses, people representing cultural institutions, literary media, members of the chapter and other persons. The jury of the contest will be composed of: Anders Bodegard, Clare Cavanagh, Maria Delaperriere, Luigi Marinelli, Abel Murcia Soriano, Adam Pomorski, Renate Schmidgall and Marian Stala.

The submissions must reach the Foundation by the 31st of January. In the first stage, the Chapter will select 5 nominees to be announced in May. In the second stage, the Chapter will select the winner from the 5 nominees. The award will include a statuette (the Foundation is currently negotiating with its potential author, Mirosław Bałka) and a cheque for PLN 200,000. If the winner is a foreign author, the translator of the winning volume will also be awarded PLN 50,000.

The Foundation will also sponsor the Adam Włodek Award, a scholarship for young authors: literary critics, translators and writers under the age of 40. The contest will be organised in cooperation with the Book Institute in Krakow. The contest will be a closed one, the Institute will present the Foundation with three candidates each year, and the Board of the Foundation will select the winner. The scholarship in 2013 will amount to approximately PLN 50,000, paid out in instalments specified by the Board of the Foundation.

The patron of the award, Adam Włodek (1922–1986), was a poet, translator and editor (for instance of the underground Library of Poets) and the husband of Wisława Szymborska between 1948 and 1954. Primarily, however, he was the head of the Youth Circle at the Polish Writers’ Union and helped many a young poet at the beginning of their path. One of them was Wisława Szymborska. The award she established is to be a form of a reminder of his activity.

The secretary of the award is Paulina Małochleb. Please send questions to: nagroda@szymborska.org.pl. Additional information is available at: www.szymborska.org.pl.