1 February 2013 Anniversary of Szymborska’s death

Today (the 1st of February) is the first anniversary of the death of Wisława Szymborska – poet, translator, columnist and winner of the Literary Noble Prize in 1996. At 11.30 a.m., Jacek Majchrowski – the Mayor of Krakow and Michał Rusinek – the President of the Wisława Szymborska Foundation will lay flowers at the poet’s grave at the Rakowicki Cemetery.

The celebration of the first anniversary of Szymborska’s death will include, among others, the Szymborska’s Drawer exhibition at the Szołayski House, an exhibition of the poet’s collages in the cellar of Pałac pod Baranami [Under the Rams Palace], the Wisława concert by Tomasz Stańko – New York Quartet at the Krakow Opera, and an international competition for graduates and students of art schools for the typeface (font) named after Szymborska, which is organised by the Znaczy Się Foundation. For more details about each of these events, visit: www.szymborska.org.pl

Wisława Szymborska was born on the 2nd of July 1923 in Kórnik – a small town near Poznań. She lived in Krakow from 1931, and in 1945-1948 she studied Polish philology and sociology at Jagiellonian University. She debuted in March 1945 with the poem Szukam słowa [“I Seek The Word”] in a weekly supplement of the Dziennik Polski daily. In 1953-1981 she worked at the Krakow Życie Literackie weekly, where she ran the poetry column and the book review column called Lektury nadobowiązkowe (which was later reactivated in Gazeta o Książkach – a supplement to the Gazeta Wyborcza daily). A selection of articles from these columns has been published in the form of a book several times.

Szymborska published 13 poetry volumes: Dlatego żyjemy [That's Why We Are Alive] (1952), Pytania zadawanie sobie [Questioning Yourself](1954), Wołanie do Yeti [Calling Out to Yeti] (1957), Sól [Salt] (1962), Sto pociech [No End of Fun] (1967), Wszelki wypadek [Could Have] (1972), Wielka liczba [A Large Number] (1976), Ludzie na moście [People on the Bridge] (1986), Koniec i początek [The End and the Beginning] (1993, 1996), Chwila [Moment] (2002), Dwukropek [Colon] (2005), Tutaj [Here] (2009) and the unfinished volume Wystarczy [Enough], which was published posthumously (2012). Her poems have been translated into over 40 languages. She has also published her own translations of poems, mainly from French and German.

In 1991 Szymborska received the Goethe Prize, and in 1995 she won the Herder Prize. In 1995 she received the title of doctor of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. In 1996 Wisława Szymborska won the Polish PEN Club Prize and the Literary Noble Prize. In 2001 she became an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2011 she was granted the highest Polish distinction – the Order of the White Eagle.

She died on the 1st of February 2012 in her Krakow apartment.