New Writing South International Writer in Residence: Izabela Morska

June 10, 2019

We are delighted to announce Izabela Morska, one of Poland’s leading literary voices, as New Writing South’s first International Writer in Residence, supported by the British Council and in partnership with West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. Izabela is the author of several books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and has been one of the most important voices in Polish literature since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her work focusses on women, queer and dispossessed characters. She will be in residence with us in the autumn of 2019.

Izabela was selected by an advisory panel led by local British-Polish poet Maria Jastrzébska. We are thrilled that she has accepted our invitation to be New Writing South’s first International Writer in Residence. The Residency will take place from 28 September to 12 October 2019 and will be split into two sections: one part will be based in Brighton and will include a programme of public events and networking opportunities. The full programme will be announced over the summer so keep an eye on our website for more details.

During the second part of the residency Izabela will be offered a short retreat at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in the beautiful Sussex countryside to develop her own work in a wonderful environment conducive to creative practice.

For our first International Writer in Residence, we chose to appoint a writer from the LGBTQ+ community, who works and lives in a country where homophobia is rife and queer artists are often working in subversive or restricted ways.  We want to explore how writers are attempting to write queer lives into existence, often as a dangerous, defiant and radical act. We recognise that there is much our writing community in Brighton and the south east can learn from and share with international colleagues. We look forward to future residencies for under-represented writers working in radical ways. Izabela Morska

Izabela Morska is the author of several books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction and has been one of Polish literature’s leading voices since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In her short stories, Morska embraces neglected and subversive narratives focusing on women, queer, and dispossessed characters. Hers is a “distinctly personal voice,” as Maria Janion, the cult historian of Polish counterculture observes. Her latest book, Znikanie (Vanishing), will be published by Znakin October 2019 and is a memoir of illness as a journey to the “dark land” of the medical system, complicated by the fact that the subject of this narrative is a lesbian, often ailing and foggy, yet still sharply critical of her surroundings, documenting the disintegration of her body, as she documents the disintegration of her country. Morska is the author of Glorious Outlaws: Debt as a Tool in Contemporary Postcolonial Fiction (Peter Lang 2016), and she received life achievement Julian Tuwim Award in 2018. She lives and teaches literature in Gdansk, Poland.