Krzysztof Siwczyk

#
  • photo by Elżbieta Lempp

A poet born in 1977, Siwczyk works at the Rafał Wojaczek Institute in Mikołów. He played the lead in Lech Majewski’s film, Wojaczek (1999), and lives in Gliwice. Siwczyk is one of those authors who, in the course of each successive book, keeps trying to explore new poetic idioms. This makes it hard to give his writing a single interpretation. He had his debut at the age of eighteen with a collection that won him critical acclaim and he was showered in literary awards (including first prize in the prestigious Jacek Bierezin competition). Wild Children is a rite-of-passage book, describing childhood on a Silesian housing estate. Through the poetic method of sensual description Siwczyk tries to tell the story of entering into adulthood. Yet each new collection brings a distinct change in his approach to poetry. Inspired by the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde traditions, Siwczyk starts to focus on the problem of how to express oneself and the actual stuff language is made of. Thus we have some poems in which he constructs very long sentences, setting himself the aim of finding a place within language where it ceases to have meaning, or short poems that make use of terminology designed to be purely factual, to uphold a conversation. These poems express Siwczyk’s conviction about the deep crisis of language, about how impossible it is to express anything through language, and as a result, about the tragic fate of the subject whose story cannot be told. In his most recent book Siwczyk tries to find a compromise between the poetic method of sensual description and so-called “linguism”. Sentences with Content is a several-dozen-page poem about love, journeys and nostalgia. The title alone suggests the book’s bipolarity. The first pole is language as such, and thus the sentence as the foundation of communication, and the second pole is the content, for even if one cannot express meaning through language, it doesn’t follow that one should give up all attempts.

"Poems are necessary above all to those who write them. If anyone reads them, that's a miraculous shock, but nothing more."
Krzysztof Siwczyk

Bibliography

  • Dzikie dzieci, Świadectwo 1995.
  • Emil i my, Gładyszów: Czarne 1999.
  • Dane dni, Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2001.
  • Wiersze dla palących, Mikołów: Instytut Mikołowski, 2001.
  • Zdania z treścią, Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2003.
  • W państwie środka (zapis wieczoru autorskiego podczas Portu Wrocław 2005), Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2004.
  • List otwarty. Wiersze zebrane 1995-2005, Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2006.
  • Im Reich der Mitte, Leipzig: ERATA Literaturverlag, 2007 (wersja dwujęzyczna)
  • Centrum likwidacji szkód, Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2008.
  • Gody, Poznań: WBPiCAK, 2012
  • Dokąd bądź, Kraków: Wydawnictwo a5, 2014
  • Jasnopis, Kraków: a5, 2016

Translations:

French: 

  • Ailleurs est maintenant [Gdzie indziej jest teraz], trans. Isabelle Macor, Paryż: Editions Greges, 2015

Slovenian:

  • Preveč videnja [Nadmiar widzenia], trans. Marlena Gruda, Klemen Pisk, Maribor: Založba Pivec, 2012