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Wislawa Szymborska was born in Bnin, Poland on July 2, 1923. After the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, she found work as a railway clerk to avoid deportation to Germany as a forced laborer. In her free time, she studied at illegal underground universities. After World War II, she resumed her formal studies in Polish literature and sociology at Jagiellonian University, but never earned a degree. In 1945, she published her first poem, I Am Looking for a Word, in a weekly supplement to the local newspaper. Her first book of poetry was published in 1952. Her other volumes of poetry include View with a Grain of Sand, People on a Bridge, Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems, and Here. In 1991 she won the Goethe Prize and in 1995 she was awarded the Herder Prize. She won the Nobel Prize for Poetry in 1996 and was awarded The Order of the White Eagle in recognition of her contribution to her country's culture in 2011. From 1953 to 1981, she worked as a poetry editor and columnist for the literary weekly Literary Life, where she wrote a column called Non-Required Reading. She died of lung cancer on February 1, 2012 at the age of 88. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from View with a Grain of Sand… (more)
View with a Grain of Sand 1,140 copies, 14 reviews
Poems New and Collected 807 copies, 5 reviews
Nonrequired Reading: Prose Pieces 223 copies, 6 reviews
Here 201 copies, 7 reviews
Map: Collected and Last Poems 175 copies, 3 reviews
Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts 153 copies, 1 review
Monologue of a Dog 133 copies, 2 reviews
Due punti 81 copies, 2 reviews
Instante 71 copies
People on a Bridge: Poems 59 copies, 1 review
Nothing Twice: Selected Poems 41 copies, 1 review
Dikter 1945-2002 40 copies, 1 review
Basta così 30 copies, 1 review
Poemas 26 copies
Antología poética 12 copies, 1 review
Nära ögat 12 copies
Wiersze wybrane 12 copies
Hetki 8 copies
Opere 8 copies
25 poesie 6 copies, 1 review
Maja Forslund : Akt (Author) 5 copies
Ogni caso 5 copies
Sale 4 copies
Grande numero 3 copies
Poezje 3 copies
Utopia 2 copies
Sena dikter 2 copies
diVersi 1 copy
Met moment 1 copy
Sol 1 copy
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Short biography
Wisława Szymborska was born in a small town in western Poland. In 1931, her family moved to Kraków, where Wisława lived and worked for the rest of her life. At the outbreak of World War II, she continued her education in underground classes. From 1943, she was employed as a worker on the railroad and thus managed to avoid deportation to Germany for forced labor. During this time her career as an artist began with illustrations for an English-language textbook. She began writing stories and occasional poems. In 1945, she began studying Polish literature before switching to sociology at the Jagiellonian University. She published her first poem "Szukam słowa" (Looking for Words) in the daily newspaper Dziennik Polski in 1945. Her poems continued to be published in various newspapers and periodicals for a number of years. In 1948, she was forced to quit her studies without a degree due to financial problems. That same year, she married Adam Włodek, also a poet; the couple divorced in 1954. She worked as a secretary and illustrator for an educational biweekly magazine. Her first book was to be published in 1949, but it did not pass Communist censorship requirements. Wisława Szymborska used socialist themes in her early work, as seen in her debut collection Dlatego żyjemy (That is What We are Living For), and became a member of the ruling Polish United Workers' Party.
Like many other Polish intellectual, however, she gradually grew disillusioned by socialist ideology and renounced her earlier political work. Although she did not officially leave the party until 1966, she began to establish contacts with political and artistic dissidents.
In 1953, she joined the staff of the literary review Życie Literackie (Literary Life), where she continued to work for nearly 30 years, and from 1968 had her own book review column. Many of her essays from this period were later published in book form. She was also an editor of the monthly magazine NaGlos. In the 1980s, she intensified her oppositional activities, contributing anonymously to the samizdat literature, as well as to the Paris-based periodical Kultura. She also translated French literature into Polish, in particular the works of Agrippa d'Aubigné. She published 15 books of poetry and became internationally famous after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.
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