17 January 2014 Wyka Award presented

Małgorzata Szpakowska – a cultural expert, literary critic and literary historian – has received the 2013 Kazimierz Wyka Award presented by the Marshal of the Malopolska Region and the Mayor of the City of Krakow. The award ceremony was held today (Friday, the 17th of January) at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre.

The Kazimierz Wyka Award is an award in the field of literary criticism, essay writing and the history of literature. Małgorzata Szpakowska received the award for her book Wiadomości Literackie.

The laureate is a long time editor of the Dialog monthly magazine, a professor at the Institute of Cultural History of the Department of Polish Philology, University of Warsaw, a member of the Polish Association of Cultural Studies, Polish Writers' Association, PEN Club and jury of the Jan Józef Lipski Award. She has researched the writings of, amongst others, S. I. Witkiewicz and S. Lem. She is the author of over a dozen books pertaining to the history of culture, manners and anthropology of the body.

She has published, among others: Światopogląd Stanisława Ignacego Witkiewicza (1976; 1977 Kościelscy Award), O kulturze i znachorach (1983), Dyskusje ze Stanisławem Lemem (1996), Zakorzenieni, wykorzenieni (1997), Chcieć i mieć. Samowiedza obyczajowa w Polsce czasu przemian (nominated for the 2004 NIKE and 2004 Podporiusz awards), Teatr i bruk. Szkice o krytykach teatralnych (2006), she is the co-author and editor of the Obyczaje polskie. Wiek XX w krótkich hasłach (W.A.B. 2008) collection and Antropologia ciała (2008) anthology.

The Kazimierz Wyka Award is highly esteemed both by the theorists of art and literature and the creators themselves. It is currently one of the few awards of this type in Poland. The award was created as a tribute to Professor Kazimierz Wyka, an eminent literary historian, critic, essayist, art connoisseur, cultural animator, humanist characterized by incredible energy and artistic imagination, and creator of the Krakow school of literary criticism. The aim of the award is to distinguish the remarkable literary and artistic achievements of authors whose works reference the values and interests of Professor Kazimierz Wyka. The Kazimierz Wyka Award not only commemorates the great humanist, literary expert and wordsmith, but also reminds us of the importance of humanism at a time which is not overly conducive to this way of life.

The award was presented for the first time in 1980. It was awarded to a leading literary critic, Professor Jerzy Kwiatkowski – a continuator of Kazimierz Wyka's work and school of literary criticism. So far, the award has been given to: Jerzy Kwiatkowski, Jan Błoński, Franciszek Ziejka, Zbigniew Herbert, Maria Janion, Michał Głowiński, Teresa Walas, Aleksander Fiut, Krzysztof Uniłowski, Michał Paweł Markowski, Krystyna Czerni, and Andrzej Franaszek. Since 2004, the award has been presented by the Marshal of the Malopolska Region and the Mayor of the City of Krakow.