Since the publication of her first book in 1967, Ewa Lipska has been among the most acclaimed of contemporary Polish poets. Yet, to date she has not enjoyed the same popularity in the United States as her fellow Poles Wislawa Szymborska, Czeslaw Milosz, and her contemporary Adam Zagajewski. ""The New Century: Poems"", a selection of her recent work, introduces to an American audience the work of an underappreciated master. Although Lipska's work displays an acute awareness of history and politics, she's nonetheless most concerned with individual experience and the most difficult philosophical questions of evil. Lipska is capable of being awed by beauty despite the deep pessimism that flows through her poems, including the failure of language itself to have any ameliorative effect on human experience. Surreal, skeptical, and laced with wit, Lipska's poetry, like that of Milosz and Szymborska, seems effortlessly to achieve a kind of hardwon and gracefully wielded authority that tells us something essential about the legacies of the twentieth century's horrors.
Ewa Lipska was born in Krakow in 1945. She is the author of nineteen books of poetry and winner of numerous major literary awards, including the Polish PEN Club's Robert Graves Award for lifetime achievement in poetry. Collections of her verse have been translated into fifteen languages. She lives in Vienna and Krakow. Robin Davidson is a poet, translator, and assistant professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Houston - Downtown. In 2003-2004 she served as the Fulbright professor of American literature at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska is a poet and translator living and teaching in Krakow, Poland. She is a graduate of the Jagiellonian University's Institute of English Philology. Her poems were recently selected by Adam Zagajewski to be featured in Zeszyty Literackie as the work of one of Krakow's emerging younger poets.