Zbigniew Machej

MACHEJ Zbigniew_foto_Józef_Klekowski-ok-ok

A poet, author of children’s poems, essayist, and translator. Born in Cieszyn. With astonishing lightness, he can transform the act of tidying a 17-year-old’s room into an opportunity for a brief exploration of profound matters. Deputy Director of the Polish Institute in Prague from 1991 to 1996 and 2000 to 2004, Director of the Polish Institute in Bratislava from 2006 to 2010, Deputy Director of the International Visegrad Fund in Bratislava. A recipient of numerous literary awards, including the “Arka” (1988) and “Orpheus” (2022).

In the very name of Pszczyna, you can hear something archaic and close to nature. This word carries a calming and illuminating power, conjuring thoughts of bees and honey. Luminous, yet not sparing shade, are also the trees that seem to have arranged themselves for a dance in the market square, slightly envious of the trees in the palace park, where music reverberates in the thickets of leaves.
The surrounding forests, remnants of the Silesian primeval wilderness, were once a part of the palace estate – and thanks to the passion of the historical aristocrats, they have since become a haven for the endangered bison. Now, in times of democracy, the woods are almost homely and need to be cared for. The Pszczyna region has struggled against the onslaught of mining, heavy industry, and toxic transportation. Let the trees, birds, bison, and bees now set the course for civilizational changes and the character of culture here.