A poet whose work is characterised by an unusually dramatic force, linguistic liveliness and inventiveness when discovering or creating new lyrical situations which arouse the reader's curiosity. Born 1979.
Her poetry is characterised by an unusually dramatic force, linguistic liveliness and inventiveness when discovering or creating new lyrical situations which arouse the reader's curiosity...
In 1996 she won the prestigious Bierezin's poetry competition. In 2001 she was nominated for the Polityka Passport and in 2012 she won the Gdynia Literary Award and received nominations for the K. I. Gałczyński Poetry Award Orfeusz and the Wrocław Silesius Poetry Award for the collection of poems Rezydencja Surykatek (Residence of the Ferrets, trans. by A.P.). In 2016, she was nominated to the Wisława Szymborska Poetry Award and the Wrocław Silesius Poetry Award for the book of poetry Zawsze (Always, trans. by A.P.), and in 2018 she received nominations to the Wisława Szymborska Poetry Award and the Wrocław Silesius Poetry Award for the book Zimna Książka (A Cold Book, trans. by A.P.). In 2019, she was nominated to the Wisława Szymborska Poetry Award for her Mordercze Ballady (Murderous Ballads, trans. by A.P.). Her poetry was very well received when she debuted at the age of 17. In the compendium Tekstylia (Textiles, trans. by A.P.) about poets born in the 70s, the style of her early poems is described as 'uncompromising exhibitionism' and the inspirations that are traced are the 'contestation literature' of Wojaczek or Świetlicki. The proof was in the reference to the latter's volumes and phrases such as: "I am wet of love and until I love / no poems about the flood in the South". All these claims underline what Anna Kałuża stated – that "Podgórnik created a very distinct lyrical persona".
But a characteristic feature of her poetry is also connecting personal themes (she often writes about lack of control and expresses vivid emotions) with a cold intellectual discipline, expressed in the precise form of each poem.
Paradiso, a book about the attempts to "settle down" into a casual relationship, subjugates all "concepts and terms" which are connected either with the topos home, community and happiness or with loneliness, grief and despair, to an ironic vivisection.
Critic Adam Wiedemann writes:
This is a clearly "metapoetic" volume, in which the trends and techniques fashionable in literature do not form the basis for duplicating already existent patterns, but are partners in a dialogue which one both appreciates and destroys.
The title of her collected poems is Pięć Opakowań (Five Packages, trans. by A.P.). Rather than commercial connections, the signal of mediation seems interesting: something inside has been packaged, many times maybe, and so it's the package that draws our attention. Marta Podgórnik deconstructed the poetry model based on 'expressing oneself', even though it's what she does in her poems all the time. Even most radical operations on her identity request an aesthetic frame, which is ironically summarised in the verses: "I didn't commit suicide today, because I couldn't find / the record with the right song". The meaning of the literary way of expressing myself is underline by the verses – again, quite ironic – "into how many brilliant phrases will I translate this sorrow? / It depends on the shape. not the poem's but mine".
The mediation of identity through culture, pop culture in this case, is also expressed through poetic creating of a band called The Śmierć (The Death, trans. by A.P.), and daring pastiches of songs, for example by Leonard Cohen. Another feature of this poetry is what Anna Kałuża called "the contour of a poem, consisting of a verse-short thought". This construction makes this poetry burst with incredible energy.
In her Mordercze Ballady published in 2019, Podgórnik offers the audience a lyrical play with poetic conventions. In spite of the slightly deceitful title, her poems are about the frantic dance of life and dance told through songs. Mordercze Ballady, a book written in par excellence ironic, deconstructive and humoristic of Podgórnik, was awarded the Wisława Szymborska Award. As Karol Maliszewski, a member of the jury, wrote:
We can read Marta Podgórnik’s latest book as a collection of texts dealing with romantic and pop-culture clichés, creating a new model of an ironic and, let’s put it this way, cruel "maidenly ballad". The book is a pinnacle of her trademark style. Mordercze Ballady is a strike to the cultural and poetic norms of a ballad.
The tension between evoking personal experiences and the awareness of the fake literary form as well as strength of expression, make Marta Podgórnik's poetry truly interesting.
Author: Paweł Kozioł 2010, updated by AP, October 2019.
- Próby Negocjacji (Attempts at Negotiation), 1996;
- Paradiso, Biuro Literackie, Port Legnica, Legnica 2000;
- Długi Maj (A Long May), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2004;
- Dwa do Jeden (Two to One), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2006;
- Pięć Opakowań (Five Packages), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2008 (collected poems);
- Rezydencja Surykatek (Residence of Ferrets), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2011;
- Nic o Mnie Nie Wiesz (You Know Nothing about Me), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2012;
- Zawsze (Always), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2015;
- Zimna Książka (A Cold Book), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2017;
- Mordercze Ballady (Murderous Ballads), Biuro Literackie, Wrocław 2019.