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Ewa Lipska

Ewa Lipska, photo by Włodzimierz Wasyluk

A poet, born in Cracow in 1945. Lipska has won the Koscielski Prize (1973), the Polish PEN Club prize (1992) and the Jurzykowski Foundation Prize (1993). Collections of her verse have been translated into English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German and Hungarian. She lives in Vienna and Cracow.

The date of her birth and first published poems place her among the Polish "New Wave," yet she does not feel herself to be a part of any generation or group and has systematically been demonstrating her artistic individuality for years. While her verse may have some connections with politics, it always documents concrete personal experiences without reaching for grand generalizations. As it unmasks the language of propaganda, her poetry also indicates the weaknesses of language in general as an instrument of human perception and communication. Lipska is in full control of the poetic craft. In her earlier work, which is intellectual, skeptical, and often based on paradox, critics discerned the influence of Wislawa Szymborska's poetic diction. This image gradually grew more complicated. Lipska became increasingly free in her use of elaborated metaphor and poetic concepts, while multiplying and complicating the senses that they contain. Her work seems more and more clearly to belong to the "Black Tendency" in Polish poetry, because of both its refinement and its consistent pessimism. Imagination (the poems often "take place" in a surrealistic dream space) seems to represent the only hope for the protagonists of the poems to gain their freedom and to escape from a real world that is full, above all, of danger.

Source:, Copyright: Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza

Selected Bibliography

  • Wiersze (Poems). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1967.
  • Drugi wybór wierszy (Second Collection of Poems). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1970.
  • Trzeci wybór wierszy (Third Collection of Poems). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1972.
  • Czwarty wybór wierszy (Fourth Collection of Verse). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1974.
  • Piaty wybór wierszy (Fifth Collection of Verse). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1978.
  • Żywa śmierć (Living Death). Cracow: WL, 1979.
  • Przechowalnia ciemności (Storage for Darkness). Warsaw: Przedswit / Warszawska Oficyna Poetow i Malarzy, 1985.
  • Strefa ograniczonego postoju (Limited Standing Zone). Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1990.
  • Stypendyści czasu (Time's Scholarship Winners). Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Dolnoslaskie, 1994.
  • Ludzie dla początkujacych (People for Beginners). Poznan: a5, 1997.
  • 1999. Cracow: WL, 1999.
  • Sklepy zoologiczne (Pet Shops). Cracow: WL, 2001 (more...).

Selected translations

  • English:Poet? Criminal? Madman? (Poems by Ewa Lipska). London-Boston: Forest Books, 1991.
  • French: Poemes. Deux poétesses polonaises contemporaines: Ewa Lipska et Wislawa Szymborska. Mundolsheim: L'Ancrier, 1996.
  • German: Auf den Dächern der Mausoleen. Gedichte. Berlin: Oberbaum, 1983.Meine Zeit. Mein Lieb. Mein. Leben. Geditchte. Salzburg, Wien: Residenz, 1990.
  • Danish: En misantrops ferie. Aarhus: Husets, 1990.'s picture
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Ewa Lipska


Ewa Lipska


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Ewa Lipska, photo: Włodzimierz Wasyluk

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Ewa Lipska



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