The prize, funded in the name of the late Polish Nobel laureate, is established in accordance with her will and will also provide scholarships for writers in a difficult financial situation.
Wisława Szymborska is presented with the Nobel Literary Award, photo: Jonas Ekstromer/AFP/East News
The Wisława Szymborska Foundation will administer the aid twice a year to poets, writers and translators who have found themselves in a difficult financial situation. The endevour runs in accordance with the late poet’s will. Professor Teresa Walas, a member of the Wisława Szymborska Foundation board, states:
Throughout her life, Szymborska secretly conducted her own form of charity work, supporting her colleagues as well as people who had no connection with the literary world. Szymborska’s will obliged the foundation to a continuation of this work, limiting it only to the literary milieu. We will try to ensure that these scholarships are as high as possible, but they will also depend on how much money we will be able to raise and obtain ourselves.
The scholarships will be a form of one-time financial assitance, and their amount will depend on the given situation of the beneficiary. Both literary associations and the authors themselves are able to apply for the aid. The decisions will be annouced in the spring and autumn of each year, and the names of the select applicants shall remain confidential.
The first Wisława Szymborska International Literary Award is scheduled to be presented to a winning poet in September, 2013.
The president of the Foundation, Michał Rusinek declared that the jury of the award is already established, and the presidential couple, Mr. Bronisław Komorowski and Mrs. Anna Komorowska have already agreed to hold an honarary patronage of the award. More details of the award will be revealed in October, 2012, during the annual Book Fair in Kraków.
The official inauguration of the Wisława Szymborska Foundation took place at the Kraków-based Maggha Centre for Japanese Art and Techniques, with an evening of poetry read by Ewa Lipska, Anna Polony, Jerzy Kronhold, Ryszard Krynicki, Bronisław Maj, Tomasz Różycki and Adam Zagajewski. Poetry readings were also accompanied by a screening of a documentary film from the Netherlands entitled Koniec i początek - spotkanie z Wisławą Szymborską (End and Beginning – A Meeting with Wisława Szymborska)
The Wisława Szymborska International Literary Award is the second such undertaking started up this year, following the announcement of the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award on the 21st of September, 2012.
Source: press release, PAP