“I Say It Burns”: Poet/post-rock musician Grzegorz Kwiatkowski in Conversation with Cynthia Haven
On Friday, October 8, as part of its weekly Friday seminar series, CREEES hosted a conversation between Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, a rising young Polish poet and post-rock musician and Cynthia Haven, author of Czesław Miłosz: A California Life. The webinar drew a sizable international audience and focused on the content of his poems and the personal and historical elements that influence his writings.
Kwiatkowski’s minimalist poems explore not only conflicted pasts of Eastern Europe – for example, the Nazi “Aktion T4” euthanasia program – but also the paradoxes of contemporary genocides. “I’m intrigued by the combination of ethics and aesthetics in one person, one life, one story,” Kwiatowski said. His poems have been perceived as quasi-testimonies, provocative and lyrical utterances delivered by the dead.
Grzegorz Kwiatkowski is fast becoming one of the most vital poetic voices from today’s Poland, with six volumes of acclaimed poetry and translated editions on the way. He is also celebrated as a musician: his internationally known post-rock band Trupa Trupa has been featured on NPR, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere.