“No one is born a poet without pain,” writes acclaimed Polish poet Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki. In Peregrinary, a selection from his nine volumes of poetry to date, Tkaczyszyn-Dycki offers deeply personal meditations on suffering and dying, and on the dead and our relationship with them. At the same time and in an unmistakable poetic voice, he interweaves his autobiography, combining spirituality, eroticism, and nostalgia to create a unique narrative of travel, sickness, and the poet’s place. The book’s title refers to the itinerary of the pilgrim and relates both to the real journeys and the metaphorical ones of the writer’s own life, in which he has chosen “poetry as a place on earth.”
Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki was born in 1962 in southeastern Poland close to the Ukrainian border. The author of nine collections of poetry, he has won numerous literary prizes both in Poland and elsewhere, including the prestigious Kazimiera Illakowiczówna Prize, the Barbara Sadowska Prize, and Germany’s Hubert Burda Prize. His work has previously appeared in various English-language journals as well as in the Zephyr Press anthology Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird. Peregrinary is his first book-length publication in English.
Bill Johnston has held translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; in 2005, he won the translation award of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) for his rendering of Magdalena Tullis prose poem Dreams and Stones. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University, where he is also director of the Polish Studies Center.