Born in Krakow in 1963, he graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Polish and has been associated since the 1980s with the opposition "bruLion" group. A poet, essayist and showman, he is a master of public appearances, the sort of artist who comes into his own in a crowd and in contact with a broad audience. He has won the appreciation of critics and readers (including a Nike nomination).
He was nominated for the Nike Literary Award for Amorous Procedures (1997) and won the Wrocław Poetry Award Silesius for An Almost Total Loss of Liquidity (2013).
His first volume All Mixed Up is deeply rooted in the works of his predecessors from the Nowa Fala (New Wave) generation. His next volume, Sosnowiec is like a woman shows a lack of faith in the possibility of poetic satisfaction:
A wound bandaged by a word doesn’t hurt less – says the poet.
Most characteristic of Baran's work are his brief volumes Amorous Procedures (1996) and Contradictory Fragments (1996), as well as the anthology The Long Goodbye: A Tribute to Raymond Chandler (edited with Marcin Sendecki and Marcin Świetlicki). His poems embody varieties of erotic poetry. The poet is a conqueror of women and unknown lands. He conquers with his words, which are tuned in harmony with his masters, Mickiewicz, Nabokov, Kavafis, and Chandler. For the poets of the "bruLion" generation, Chandler represents special values, the half-ironic, half-serious incarnation of the masculine virtues, a gruff language, bitter sentiments and disenchantment at adulthood. As befits the times in which we live, Marcin Baran's poetry conveys the "muddied" emotions: tainted love, remorse, grimness, and boredom. The world is not beautiful. We recognize this truth as our own but refuse to accept it.
Aldona Kopkiewicz wrote about his works, reviewing the book Niemal całkowita utrata płynności / Almost complete loss of liquidity:
Baran's talent from the very beginning shone brighter in individual sentences, powerful excerpts, haunting punch lines than in some whole, a cohesive style or suggestive immagination which would attach the reader and become part of a common language. At the same time from the very beginning Baran was best in the simplest, private poems, in which he only tried to capture a disturbing experience, an everyday situation or an evasive feeling, and did it efficiently, without straining himself to powerful cogitation or metaphorical charge. ("Dwutygodnik", 07/2012).
Baran's poems were translated into German, French, Slovenian and Czech. Between 2000 and 2003 he wrote for the Przekrój weekly, later he worked in the Book Institute in Kraków, in TVP Kultura and Dziennik Polski dail. He is the artistic director of Bruno Schulz festival in Wrocław - an international festival of art and literature.
Source: www.polska2000.pl; copyright: Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza, updated by NMR, September 2016.
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