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2018 National Translation Award — Longlist


"Before we even pick up a copy of [Fiedorczuk's] beautiful new book translated by Bill Johnston, Oxygen indicates that the main concern of her poetry will be about what is necessary to life.”

     — Hillary Scheppers, The Mantle [read full review]


Julia Fiedorczuk entangles images and concepts from science (astronomy, physics, and biology) with deeply personal explorations of relationships and connectedness in her debut poetry book in English. Nature abounds in these poems, and Fiedorczuk is, in turn, ever present in "that luscious fruit, the world." Her passionate engagement with the details of the environment and the people in it makes hers an unforgettable voice in contemporary ecopoetics, one that argues for empathy and alertness. She has published five volumes of poetry, three of fiction, and three books on ecocriticism, and won several Polish literary awards. 


"Fiedorczuk’s play with tone is, indeed, a delightful feature of her work, and Johnston allows English-language readers to experience her mixture of profundity and levity, contemplative calm and dramatic movement. We can only hope for more in the future." 

     — Magdalena Kay, World Literature Today [read full review]


Poet and fiction writer Julia Fiedorczuk has published five volumes of poetry, two novels, a collection of short stories and three critical books in Poland. A proponent of ecopoetics and ecocriticism, her work focuses on the relationship between humans and their non-human environments. Her first collection, Listopad nad Narwia (November on the Narew) was selected as best debut of the year by the Polish Association of Book Publishers. She is also the recipient of the Hubert Burda Prize for poets from Central and Eastern Europe (2005). She participated in the international project entitled Metropoetica: Poets Writing Cities. Her poetry has been translated into many languages and appeared in anthologies in the USA, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.

Bill Johnston has translated more than twenty books of Polish poetry and prose, including Wieslaw Mysliwski’s Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books), winner of the 2012 PEN Translation Prize and the Best Translated Book Award; Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki’s Peregrinary (Zephyr Press), shortlisted for the 2009 Best Translated Book Award-Poetry; and translations of the work of Magdalena Tulli, Andrzej Stasiuk, Jerzy Pilch, Witold Gombrowicz, Tadeusz Rózewicz, and numerous other authors. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2014 he received the Transatlantyk Prize from the Polish Book Institute for his contributions to the promotion of Polish culture abroad. He is currently working on a new translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s 1834 epic poem Pan Tadeusz, for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University, where he is Henry Remak Professor of Comparative Literature.

Oxygen, by Julia Fiedorczuk

  • Oxygen: Selected Poems by Julia Fiedorczuk

    Translated from Polish by Bill Johnston

    128 pages | Bilingual Polish/English


    Paperback | ISBN-10: 1938890191

    ISBN-13: 978-1938890192


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