Ryszard Krynicki – Laureate of the Zbigniew Herbert Literary Award 2015
Ryszard Krynicki was born on June 28, 1943 of Polish parents in the labor camp of Sankt Valentin in Austria. A poet associated with Poland’s New Wave of 1968, he had close ties with the democratic opposition in the 1970s and 1980s, and from 1976 to 1980 his works were banned by the Communist authorities. Although a poetry collection crippled by censorship was published in 1968, he considers his true debut to have been Birth Certificate (1969); in the last five decades he has published ten volumes of poetry. In 2009 a Selected Poems appeared and was nominated for Poland’s chief literary prize, the NIKE.
An editor of several underground magazines, he also founded the poetry press a5 in Poznan with his wife Krystyna; in 1998 the press moved from Poznan to Krakow, where it is now one of the most prestigious publishing houses in Poland, with a list that includes Zbigniew Herbert, Wisława Szymborska, Adam Zagajewski and Hanna Krall, as well as many younger poets like Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki and Tadeusz Dąbrowski. Krynicki is a distinguished translator from German, of poets Paul Celan, Nelly Sachs, and others. He has been the recipient of many awards and honors, and selections of his work have appeared in a number of languages including German and Swedish.