The Estate of Seamus Heaney, together with the Krakow Festival Office (KBF), operator of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme, and the Irish Embassy in Poland, have announced a new residency programme in the former flat of the Polish poet and writer Czesław Miłosz in Krakow, Poland.
The Heaney-Miłosz project is aimed at Irish authors at the beginning of their writing path. It will allow the selected residency author to live in Milosz's flat in the centre of Krakow for 4-6 weeks in autumn 2023. The residency programme will host authors every two years.
The Heaney-Miles Residency aims to support writers living in Ireland who are at the beginning and early stages of their careers to further develop their work. The main aim of the residency is to support writers by providing them with both a unique space and the time they need to focus on their writing.
During the residency period, the writer will be requested to take part in public engagements such as discussions at festival events, meetings with academia and young writers. Upon completion of the residency, the author will be asked to provide a written summary of their experiences in Krakow.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980, Czeslaw Milosz is one of Poland's most outstanding writers. Described by Seamus Heaney as a 'veteran of turmoil', he personally experienced the devastation of war and occupation in Central and Eastern Europe. These experiences, as well as his Polish-Lithuanian heritage, shaped his writing. As Seamus Heaney said of Milosz's work, "You are captive to a unique voice, a poetry imbued with the density of experience that has been lived and radiated by an understanding that has made them symbolic."
Czeslaw Milosz lived on Boguslawskiego Street in Krakow for the last decade of his life. It was here that he and Seamus Heaney - also a Nobel Prize winner – cemented their friendship. The works of both authors stem from difficult experiences of conflict and adversity, and they also share a commitment to dignity and human rights, while celebrating a plurality of identities.
During their residency period, the selected author(s) will be supported by KBF, the Irish Embassy in Warsaw, and the Estate of Seamus Heaney. It includes full accommodation in Czeslaw Milosz's flat for 4-6 weeks in autumn 2023 and a bursary of €250 per week. Flights and transfers to and from Krakow will also be covered.
Who can apply for residency?
The residency programme is designed for writers at the beginning of their professional careers, particularly writers of poetry.
To be eligible to apply, the applicant must:
- reside permanently in Ireland,
- submit a sample of creative work (previously published) available in English.
An interest in and/or good knowledge of Polish or more broadly Central and Eastern European affairs is considered to be an advantage.
Application evaluation process
Applications will be reviewed by a specially appointed Board, which includes representatives from Poland and Ireland. Final decisions will be announced by the end of December 2022.