A series of events to remember a famous Polish poet got off to a flying start in Merkinch at the weekend with a well-attended exhibition.
The week of creative events organised by POL-UK CREATIVE WRITERS - a Polish-British literary group based in Merkinch - has brought music from a Polish band, poetry-reading and creative writing events to Merkinch’s Bike Shed in Inverness.
The group's Joanna Napiorkowska revealed that they had had an letter of encouragement for the event in which Dariusz Adler, the Polish Consul General, based in Edinburgh had written, saying " I am delighted that you are going to introduce the work of Tuwim to your Scottish neighbours. I hope the celebrations will bring new experiences for both the Polish and the Scottish communities in Inverness".
"Tuwim" was Julian Tuwim – also known as "Oldlen" for his song lyrics and this year is being celebrated in Poland as The Year of Julian Tuwim.
After studying law at Warsaw University, he co-founded the Skamander group of experimental poets with Antoni Sonimski and Jarosaw Iwaszkiewicz – who wanted to write poetry for ordinary people not scholars.
Tuwim went on to became a major figure in Polish literature, admired for his children’s literature too.
He received the Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature in 1935, but in 1939 he left, travelling through Romania, France, then Portugal to Brazil before settling in America.
During this time he wrote Kwiaty Polskie (Polish Flowers), an epic poem in which he remembers with nostalgia his early childhood in Lódz. In April 1944 he published a manifesto, entitled My, Zydzi Polscy (We, Polish Jews) and he returned to Poland after the war, in 1946.
Although Tuwim was best-known for his serious poetry, he also wrote satirical work and wrote sketches for cabaret as well as poetry for children, such as Lokomotywa (Locomotive) in 1938 and a lot of his children’s poetry was translated into Russian. He translated Pushkin and other Russian poets.
The Bike Shed events started on Friday with the opening event at the venue curated by Bartek Jarmolinski and music from Polish band Agnellus.
The full list of events still to come is:
9pm Agnellus plays Tuwim at The Innes
7pm Launch of book of new writing inspired by Tuwim: Tribute To Julian Tuwim at The Innes
11am Tuwim’s poetry: a reading for children at Inverness library
7pm A reading of poetry inspired by the Tuwim competition
11am children’s fancy dress party at The Bike Shed
6pm poetry competition award-giving ceremony and end of celebration at The Bike Shed, attended by the Provost.
For more information, call The Bike Shed on 01463 240085.