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Poland

The covers of the books featured in the Watchlist
The Watchlist: November 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends exciting new books in translation from Denmark, Argentina, Palestine, Mexico, and Poland.
Portrait of Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk
Photo copyright © Karpati&Zarewicz/ZAiKS
Ognosia
By Olga Tokarczuk
We will need new maps as well as the courage and humor of travelers who won’t hesitate to stick their heads outside the sphere of the world-up-to-this-point, beyond the horizon of existing dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft
The covers of the six books featured in the article: Solitaire, I'd Like to Say Sorry But There's...
The Watchlist: February 2022
By Tobias Carroll
Tobias Carroll recommends exciting new books in translation from Morocco, Argentina, Poland, Chile, Sweden, and Tunisia.
Peripatetics: The Essays of Jazmina Barrera, Karen Villeda, and Mariana Oliver
By Charlotte Whittle
These are essays with a roving gaze whose authors travel through geographic and intellectual spaces with the same ease with which we used to walk around in New York.
Visegrád
By Karen Villeda
Women were confined to reading prayer books and religious hymns. And they wrote in the margins. Centuries went by. Those marginalia are, in fact, the books I need to read.
Translated from Spanish by Charlotte Whittle
Deceptive Simplicity: International Children’s Literature
By Daniel Hahn
I often feel that adults forget what children’s stories are capable of.
Mr. Gimbal’s Incredible Invention
By Justyna Bednarek
The wooden ring looked antique, because, as Mr. Gimbal explained, it was a centuries-old stereoscopic theater.
Translated from Polish by Zosia Krasodomska-Jones
Road Stories: International Writing on Travel
By Susan Harris
Some of the writers here document their own trips, while others invent characters and send them on the road.
Forced Confessions: On True Crime Writing
By Susan Harris
The pieces here map the translation of event into prose—the creation of true crime writing.
Lusia Murdered
By Cezary Łazarewicz
“Must you put on a fur when someone shouts ‘murder'?
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
The Urn
By Marcin Wicha
It's vile to disregard somebody's sense of aesthetics just because they're dead.
Translated from Polish by Marta Dziurosz
Honor Thy Father and Mother: In Mourning
By Susan Harris
All people mourn in their own ways.
Beyond Queer: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
The contributors to our Queer issues produce narratives that elude facile compartmentalization.
From “Foucault in Warsaw”
By Remigiusz Ryziński
Why was he the one with the keys to Michel Foucault’s apartment?
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
And What If Love Is Stronger? The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
In this troubling context, the need for portrayals of queer lives around the world becomes even more urgent.
Rainbow Families: Four Parents and Two Children
By Karolina Domagalska
Go and find a father for your child.
Translated from Polish by Marta Dziurosz
Doors
By Żanna Słoniowska
“That evening they rang the doorbell . . . . I never saw him again.”
Translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
War
By Julia Fiedorczuk
The woman looks at the little girl and sees that her fear is as absolute as her joy was before.
Translated from Polish by Anna Zaranko
Playground Archeology
By Maciej Miłkowski
A woman, on the contrary, has nothing to gain from a child.
Translated from Polish by Tul’si Bhambry
MultimediaMultilingual
Good Faith
By Jarek Westermark
Your activities over many years, as we scrupulously observed, did not provide any evidence to suggest you wished to regain your soul.
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
Multimedia
Heniek
By Monika Szydłowska
Heniek always wanted to leave.
Translated by Sean Gasper Bye
The Dynamism of Contemporary Polish Fiction
By Antonia Lloyd-Jones
The authors who appear in this special feature illustrate the diversity and dynamism of modern Polish fiction.
Comics and Graphic Narratives: A Global Cultural Commons
By Dominic Davies
Comics themselves have a role to play in the construction of a more globally aware social consciousness.
People Behaving Badly
By Susan Harris
Many greet the clean slate of a new year by pledging to chalk up only virtue and moderation.
I Don’t Want Much, But I Must Have It All
By Hanna Krall
Once people hear “religious husband,” they lend two thousand on the spot.
Translated from Polish by Ela Bittencourt
The World on Stage: Micro-Plays in Translation
By Sarah Maitland
It is this ready route to the public, and the immediacy of response to some of the most urgent questions of our time, that gives microtheater its enduring appeal.
Love Thy Savior
By Jerzy Lutowski
“Do you want me to humiliate myself and you?”
Translated from Polish by Kevin Windle
The Magazine as Manifesto
By Meghan Forbes
The artistic production of a group of leftist artists, poets, and editors in Central Europe in the interwar period reflects an optimism for a “new Europe.”
Printing: On Layout
By Mieczysław Szczuka and Teresa Żarnowerówna
Translator Duda has upgraded nonsense phrasings with a nod to our digital age, and designer Kwiecień-Janikowski maintains the dynamism of the printed version, but again with a clever nod to our temporal remove.
Translated from Polish by Paulina Duda & Wojtek Kwiecień-Janikowski
Yiddish Literature and the Transnational Republic of Jewish Letters
By Sebastian Schulman
Yiddish literature occupies the precarious position of an informed outsider.
Sing Ladino
By Yankev Glatshteyn
Finegolden radiating, bursting— / Multicoloredthoughtingness.
Translated from Yiddish by Asya Vaisman Schulman
From “Raking Light from Ashes”
By Relli Robinson
Now you’ll be our daughter a little bit too.
Translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
In Praise of an American Egg Wholesaler
By Francis Nenik
American chicken breasts will keep Europe at peace!”
Translated from German by Amanda DeMarco
Multilingual
Fakes
By Sylwia Chutnik
How could anyone accuse Mr. Pawlikowski of something so awful?
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
Painting the Occupation
By Paweł Smoleński
They locked him up for being a Kurd.
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
The Ship-breakers
By Witold Szablowski
If there’s an accident here, a hard hat won’t help.
Translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Kyrgyzstan: Shade and Shadow
By Andrzej Stasiuk
Armies always leave a mess behind.
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
A Thousand
By Adam Wiedemann
We exist on innumerable photographs. Whoever you areyou exist. In a country landscape there is no placefor sublime pleasures of the soul. Whoever’s tired of the citythis, or some other, can go to the…
Translated from Polish by Beatrice Smigasiewicz
from “Dukla”
By Andrzej Stasiuk
July hung over the village like a sheet of blue metal.
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
knight from chess set
Copyright © Cyrus Chong
The Knight
By Olga Tokarczuk
Why are you crying? he said. Over chess, over that knight?
Translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft
“I peel potatoes, stroke you on the head, pick up a leaf”
By Krystyna Milobedzka
I peel potatoes, stroke you on the head, pick up a leafoff the ground, turn on the light, light a cigarette, grabthe doorknob, take out a tram ticketdon’t be in such a rush, you’re graying…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
“I put off three dreams about father until later”
By Krystyna Milobedzka
I put off three dreams about father until laterthey may come in handyit’s already an old tear, an automatic oneI always find it in the same place
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
“I lose verbs most quickly, nouns are left”
By Krystyna Milobedzka
I lose verbs most quickly, nouns are left,thingsno more than personal pronouns (a lot of I, more and more I)and names? they vanish, conjunctions vanishthree words, two wordsfinally my, my inwardmy inward…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
“exactly the forehead, exactly the mouth, exactly the hands”
By Krystyna Milobedzka
exactly the forehead, exactly the mouth, exactly the handswith that same dirty stain near the fingernailwith little braidsin an old-fashioned dresswith a dahlia at the cheek, a strawberry at the lipsin…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
cobweb
By Tadeusz Różewicz
four drab womenWant Hardship Worry Guiltwait somewhere far awaya person is borngrowsstarts a familybuilds a homethe four ghoulswaithidden in the foundationsthey build for the persona second homea labyrinthin…
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
From: “After the Cry”
By Krystyna Milobedzka
you have no name, no placetalk to yourself, sand, grassare you crying?who heard the meadow cry? 
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
from “Toward a Science of Nonexistence”
By Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki
Iif I only possessed a sunlit roomfor sure I’d rid myself of my foesaside from the bones of my ancestors preyto lengthy fevers nothing brings me pleasureaside from the bones of my ancestors with…
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
“and once again”
By Tadeusz Różewicz
“It’s past and gone […]Best would be to go mad.”(Tadeusz Konwicki, Afterglows)And once againthe past beginsbest would be to go madyou’re right Tadziobut our generation doesn’t…
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
Look
By Zbigniew Herbert
The blue winter sky like a stone on which angelssublime and quite unearthly sharpen their wingsmoving on rungs of radiance on crags of shadowthey gradually sink into the imaginary heavensbut in another…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
Principality
By Zbigniew Herbert
Marked in the guidebook with two stars (in reality there are more) the whole principality, that is to say the city, the sea and a stretch of sky, looks great at first glance. The graves are whitewashed,…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
Ghost Ship
By Tadeusz Różewicz
the day is shorterthe sundial standshourless in the rainthe sanatorium emergesfrom cloudslike a vast passenger linerthe columns of black treesdrip with water and moonlightthe sanatorium sails awaywith…
Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston
Angels of Civilization
By Zbigniew Herbert
At the turn of the century it seemed that angels were leaving us forever and that every trace of them would be lost. They were still employed here and there by funeral services. They also held up unfashionable…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
She was doing her hair
By Zbigniew Herbert
She was doing her hair before going to bedand in front of the mirror it lasted an infinitely long timebetween one bending of the arm at the elbow and anotherepochs passed from her hair soldiers of the…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
On Translating Poetry
By Zbigniew Herbert
Like a clumsy bumblebeehe alights on a flowerbending the fragile stemhe elbows his waythrough rows of petalslike the pages of a dictionaryhe wants inwhere the fragrance and the sweetness areand though…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
Fragment
By Jacek Gutorow
Peat bog, fossilized air, loops of an evening sky.Words close themselves against other words,and there is only a burnt-out path,a pipe in ether with after-voices and after-crackleswhitened and beaten…
Translated from Polish by David Kennedy & Jacek Gutorow
McDonald’s
By Marcin Swietlicki
I find the trace of your teeth in the foreign town.I find the trace of your teeth in my arm.I find the trace of your teeth in the mirror.At times I’m a hamburger.At times I’m a hamburger.Salad…
Translated from Polish by Peter Constantine
Good Later
By Marcin Sendecki
“Uh huh” says the streetcar, or it seems to say.When did the clock with the tune get here, it’s getting harderto hear. Wrong: tremors should be caught, fixed, accommodated.How far we’ve…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
Tuscany
By Jacek Gutorow
The landscape is effective. We’re calling out the hills.Echoes want untwining. We’re drawing water from fountains.A half-open window. The half-closed sea.The rest just flickers andwe are taking…
Translated from Polish by David Kennedy & Jacek Gutorow
Blurb
By Marcin Sendecki
Weeks spent. a monthdevoted to the study of a detailin a magazine ad. The guide tells usthere are two kinds of people: creative and not. Soap washes off,milk washes down. Push the cart.For the next poem…
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles
Paints and Smears
By Jacek Gutorow
Her house in the middle of spring.Ribbons in girls’ hair, a smell of starch.The wind distributes words, puffs out curtains.The house is on flowery fire, a sparkling stream.How many times has she…
Translated from Polish by David Kennedy & Jacek Gutorow
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