Tadeusz Różewicz and the struggle for poetry – English PEN Atlas

‘For PEN Atlas this week, Basia Howard writes about Tadeusz Różewicz, Poland’s most translated author, and considered by many to be of the same stature as Szymborska and Milosz. His memoir Mother Departs, published by Stork Press next month, describes the war he survived  his artistic journey and the experiences that forged his poetic conscience…’



‘Różewicz has been quietly and consistently present in the English-speaking world for over 40 years. Today at 91, he’s still speaking to us, and indeed in 2012 he wrote a clowning parody of Hamlet to illustrate our cultural deflation and confusion.

Stork Press is about to publish Różewicz’s memoir Mother Departs. It is a biography – told through a kaleidoscope of different genres and the different voices of his family, set against the dark epic backdrop of a country ripped apart, invaded and repressed throughout the 20th century. Tadeusz Różewicz’s vision has not changed during the seven decades of his literary career. But Mother Departs adds to our understanding of the discordant forces that shape a writer. Wars, religion, poverty, politics all do so – but so do the kitchen-table actualities of family love. This is absolutely fundamental to Różewicz.

After the War he wrote:

I am  twenty-four

led to the slaughter

I survived

Ever since, he has written about all of us who have endured and survived, because we must. Now in Mother Departs he brings us face to face with those closest to him, whom long ago he lost.’

Read the full article on English PEN Atlas website.