Miłosz Festival 2023

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - Sunday, July 9, 2023

  • Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - Sunday, July 9, 2023

Poetry premieres, debates, concerts, events for children - this year's Milosz Festival will begin in Krakow on July 5. The festival slogan is: Songs about the End of the World.

The motto of this year’s festival, Songs on the End of the World, recalls what is perhaps Czesław Miłosz’s best-known poem. It stresses the multitude of literary perspectives while acknowledging some of the most important issues facing humankind today. We will see a strong representation of poets from Germany, Latvia and Ukraine in order to foster local and regional discussions and literary narratives. In early July, the Potocki Palace turns into a paradise of poetry. 

The meeting between Daniela Danz and Anja Kampmann presents poems from the anthology of contemporary German poetry edited by Tomasz Ososiński and published by Warstwy. We will also see the launch of An Essay on Midges – the first volume of poetry by Jan Wagner translated into Polish – and Antoine Cassar’s Passport, sketching a vision of the future without borders or passports as an urgent necessity.  

Latvian culture is explored by Kārlis Vērdiņš, “the most honest poet of his generation”, and the acclaimed poet and translator Ingmāra Balode. Lithuania’s close ties with Miłosz resound with the voice of Antanas A. Jonynas, author of many volumes of poetry awarded some of the most important literary awards in Lithuania, including the National Prize for Culture and Arts.  

And since we’re listing our neighbours once again, we mustn’t forget about Ukraine. The country’s poetry is represented by Kateryna Babkina and her latest volume Does Not Hurt, while the meeting Central European Revisions discusses the war beyond our eastern border and examines how it is changing our view of ourselves and how it affects culture. 

Wisława Szymborska’s presence is felt during meetings with authors nominated for the prize given her name (Maciej Bobula, Stanisław Kalina Jaglarz, Kamila Janiak, Jadwiga Malina and Tomasz Różycki) and the gala ceremony, as well as at accompanying exhibitions. The Joy of Writing/The Joy of Photography. Wisława Szymborska Through a Lens by Joanna Helander, Justyna Budzyn’s Mosaic and Joanna Więcław’s Collages go on display at the Potocki Palace. 

Important local accents come with the Adam Zagajewski’s Seminar and the birthday celebrations of another Cracovian poet: Ryszard Krynicki. The seminar aims to present Zagajewski as an active, engaged pedagogue and initiator of social activities and discussions. The meetings, titled Building on Ruins, Writing About War and Adam Zagajewski: In Memoriam, feature guests Ilya Kaminsky, Mira Rosenthal, ariel rosé, Ija Kiwa and Bohdan Zadura. Krynicki’s birthday celebrations feature a discussion between the author and Marian Stala and Marta Koronkiewicz, during which he will read his own poems.  

The Miłosz Festival also features poems by up-and-coming Polish poets including Agata Jabłońska (from her next volume published in the summer by Papierwdole) and Marta Podgórnik making a welcome return after a break. They appear at Ogniwo and Otwarta Pracownia – spaces which are aiming to break conventions, play with form and bring together literature with other forms of art, as well as hosting concerts and spectacles during the festival. All this and plenty more at the five-day-long celebration of poetry in Kraków!  

All events are free, tickets are required, and will be available two weeks before the festival at kbfbilety.krakow.pl and via the kbf app: tickets. The full festival program: [click].

Potocki Palace

Rynek Główny 20

The Potocki Palace at the Main Market Square is a space for culture in the very heart of Kraków. It serves as a hub of ideas, experience, dialogue, creativity and cooperation for Kraków cultural institutions, artists, local communities and NGOs.

From 2021, the hosts of the Potocki Palace have been the Krakow Festival Office, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery and COMPARE Bookstore.   

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