Welcome to Open Anthology, by Seweryn Gorczak



I am a young poet born and raised in city of Warsaw, with the humble ambition to show a much greater audience the microcosm of literature written by people like me – poets molded by XXI century experience, maturing in a time of unprecedent technological progress, accompanied by the epidemic of unprecedented loneliness, in a cold country recovering from various unpleasant historical events. Quite peculiar circumstances, must be said.
In clearer terms, I will translate and present to you, oh reader of poetry (a mythical creature whose existence is often doubted), twelve poems a month from twelve young Polish poets, alongside interviews and short essay exploring how their poetry got here in the first place.
First things first, however – what will Open Anthology cover, and what won’t it?
It certainly won’t be objective – I have no ambitions to show you the best of the best, and don’t feel like being some sort of a judge who from the giddy heights of his self-declared authority claims that THIS POET RIGHT HERE IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. Nope, that won’t happen. It is merely my wish to explore poets who have a little flair, some spark within their work that makes their poems stand out in the Polish poetry landscape and who, in the future, will inherit a doubtful mantle from hands of older, more established authors.

But that’s just the beginning.

Open Anthology is called such because I don’t want to limit it to Polish authors. There is no place for young poets from various countries, limited by the language barrier, to discover and explore what others in their age group are writing, what people like them express in their works, what people like them feel, see, think. I don’t know what other twenty three year old poets in England write, and they know jack about me too. I don’t know what kind of literature twenty-somethings in France, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Russia or Greece are producing, and in an age when I can easily chat with strangers literally on the other side of the world, this is something which needs addressing. Like so many, I can’t afford to buy and ship books from all over the planet, or send mine out, but perhaps using this website is a good starting platform.

The ultimate goal of Open Anthology is to create a space and invite people from other literary scenes to co-create and help to gather interesting, promising authors from all over Europe in one place, to let them influence and impress each other with their wit, wisdom and literary flourish. We also want to nurture a new generation of translators to share their work and help the cultural and literary exchange between the generation brought up in the dawn of new century, which has already proven to be dramatic and turbulent.

But let’s get back to basics. For now, on the OFF_Press site, at the end of every month I will present you new poet and every week I will put three poems with little extra added, like interview or short essay about selected poems. And since it’s my personal fiefdom, from time to time you can expect an interview with literary critic or other person involved in literary life, some recording of recited poem, whatever I feel like and/or have occasion doing.
Our aim is to make it a continuous project, without a clear-cut end game – the journey is the goal itself.

So, if you know of any good translations of contemporary poetry into English, send it to us, will you? We are hungry for growth.

Seweryn Gorczak / seweryn@off-press.org

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