Internet culture, science, nature and gay love all find their way into the poetry of Jacek Dehnel, as he casts his "razor-sharp glance" both to bygone times and contemporary themes. His range is formidable: from formal poems based on the classic Polish thirteen-syllable line and intricate rhyming stanzas, to prose poems and freer lyrics. “My restlessness… is one of my strongest traits — that insatiability for places, books, paintings, people,” he says.
Born in Gdansk, Poland in 1980, Dehnel is a poet, writer, translator and painter. He won the 2005 Koscielski Foundation Award and the 2006 Polityka Passport Award, and has written seven volumes of poetry and a dozen books of novels and short stories. His first volume of poetry received an enthusiastic endorsement by Czeslaw Milosz. Dehnel is also the translator of works by Philip Larkin, W. H. Auden, George Szirtes, Osip Mandelstam and others into Polish.
Karen Kovacik is an award-winning poet and translator of contemporary Polish poetry. Her translation of Agnieszka Kuciak’s Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets Who Don’t Exist was long-listed for the 2014 National Translation Award, and she edited and selected the poems in Scattering the Dark: An Anthology of Polish Women Poets (both with White Pine Press). She is the author of several books of poetry, including Metropolis Burning (Cleveland State, 2005). She teaches creative writing and American poetry at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and was the poet laureate of Indiana from 2012 to 2014.
“Dehnel excels in the detail of life: the lacquered surface, the hairdryers on their hooks, the smell of charcoal and varnished floors in the empty school in summer. This detail furnishes and fleshes out the picture; it also serves, like the medieval symbols of vanitas, to remind us of the transience of our own lives. Transience, and the melancholy that accompanies it, are key notes...” — Sasha Dugdale, European Literature Network [read full review]