A representative selection from the distinguished poet, showing the remarkable scope and variety of his work.
Dear Beloved Humans offers a representative selection of poems by Grzegorz Wróblewski (b. 1962), a Polish writer and visual artist based for the last thirty-five years in Copenhagen. A third volume of Wróblewski’s poetry translated into English by Piotr Gwiazda, it shows its remarkable scope and variety, from the early 1980s poems, with their motifs of existential anxiety and radical estrangement, to those written in the last decade, with their satirical insights on nationalism and capitalism, among other topics. Above all Dear Beloved Humans signals that Wróblewski’s work should be read as a dynamic whole. It crystallizes the nature of his lifelong project: an attempt to portray, through something theoretically as simple and unassuming as poetry, what it means to be alive at this moment in the planet’s history. Incisive, uncompromising, yet also full of what Sharon Mesmer calls Wróblewski’s “melancholic hilarity,” Dear Beloved Humans is a document of our time and a not-so-hopeful message to our descendants.
“In this book we find short brilliant grim verse tales—such as the tale of Anne who lives inside her white dress, or that of the poet who is the only one (including former cosmonauts!) remaining unconverted. Poem by poem we move through an inexorably dark circle of life, where poems’ speakers are in the process of disappearing faster and faster; where it feels like rain especially when it’s not raining and the weather generally is sexless and gray, uninspiring; where decline is described somberly yet shouted IN ALL CAPS; where a tick chose to bite you because you wore the flannel shirt the poem’s addressee had given as a birthday gift; where the gecko is perfect for loners. After a week of all this, the gecko poem informs us, “you’ll become social again,” but by then it will be marvelously too late. Grzegorz Wróblewski is the great sweetly sardonic poet of such humane belatedness.”—Al Filreis
“The amazingly compressed poems in Dear Beloved Humans are constantly banging themselves against this world that makes no sense, but that most of us have nevertheless simply accepted, and Wróblewski has taken on the poetic task of jarring us into a renewed apprehension of the world’s terrible, hilarious absurdity. “What took place a moment ago / no longer has any importance,” he says — not when we’re utterly surrounded by the horrors of history, hunger, aging, lust, and endless wars “they all” lose “but claim / they won.” Wróblewski’s pessimism is fantastic, entertaining, and timeless. I laughed out loud while reading this book, then got up from my chair feeling truly shaken.”—Wayne Miller
Grzegorz Wróblewski, born in 1962 in Gdańsk and raised in Warsaw, has been living in Copenhagen since 1985. Since 1985 he has been living in Copenhagen. He is the author of dozens of volumes of poetry, essays, and drama in Poland, as well as several books in Denmark and other countries. His work has been translated into Bosnian, Czech, Danish, English, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, Vietnamese, and other languages. As a visual artist, he has exhibited his paintings in various galleries in Denmark, Germany, England, and Poland. Full-length collections of Wróblewski's poetry in English translation include Our Flying Objects (trans. Joel Leonard Katz, Rod Mengham, Malcolm Sinclair, Adam Zdrodowski, Equipage, 2007), A Marzipan Factory (trans. Adam Zdrodowski, Otoliths, 2010), Kopenhaga (trans. Piotr Gwiazda, Zephyr Press, 2013), Let's Go Back to the Mainland (trans. Agnieszka Pokojska, Cervena Barva Press, 2014), and Zero Visibility (trans. Piotr Gwiazda, Phoneme Media/Deep Vellum, 2017). Wróblewski's collection of asemic work Shanty Town was published by Post-Asemic Press in 2022.
Author City: COPENHAGEN DEN
Born in Poland in 1973 and living in the United States since 1991, Piotr Gwiazda is the translator of Grzegorz Wróblewski's DEAR BELOVED HUMANS (Diálogos Books, 2023), Zero Visibility (Phoneme Media, 2017), and Kopenhaga (Zephyr Press, 2013). He is also the author of three books of poems, Aspects of Strangers (Moria Books, 2016), Messages (Pond Road Press, 2012), and Gagarin Street (Washington Writers' Publishing House, 2005) and of two books of literary criticism, US Poetry in the Age of Empire, 1979-2012 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and James Merrill and W.H. Auden (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
Author City: PITTSBURGH, PA USA