White Nights with Urszula Honek and Juana Adcock | 6th November at 7pm
White Nights is a series of interconnected stories concerning the various tragedies and misfortunates that befall a group of people who all grew up and live(d) in the same village in the Beskid Niski region, in southern Poland. Each story centres itself around a different character and how it is that they manage to cope, survive or merely exist, despite, and often in ignorance of, the poverty, disappointment, tragedy, despair, brutality and general sense of futility that surrounds them. Urszula relates to us, with the sincerest care and honesty, a localised, yet so clearly universal, story of ruin and hope: a story where the protagonists do not ask to be understood, but merely to be seen and to be heard. Kate Webster’s brilliant translation of Urszula’s poetic, yet often earthen, prose brings us to places that, though they are seldom seen in literature, we may never forget.
Joining Urszula in conversation will be the Glasgow-based poet and translator Juana Adcock!
Copies of White Nights (signed by both author + translator) will be available, on the night and MTO Press will also have (free) and exclusive merch available to celebrate their first publication!
Praise for White Nights:
‘A highly artistic study of death encapsulated in moving stories, [where] the setting seems to be a symbol of a larger (ultimately, cosmic) universe, signalled by a reality that is limited to a small number of characters…Honek reveals the bright side of something that is usually only known and seen through darkness.’ - Paulina Subocz-Białek
'Lyricism and brutality. The almost poetic beauty and trivial ugliness of everyday life. And everything is wrapped in a web of sadness and melancholy. The author knows how to create a mood and shows, to put it grandiosely, sensitivity to the human condition.' – Anna Kozłowska, SwipeTo
'Honek with complete cruelty, but also mastery, symbolically kills her influences. She stands firmly on her own two feet, moving readers with her own voice - immediately clear, set and full.' - Paulina Małochleb, Empik Critics' Choice
Urszula Honek, born in Racławice, Poland, is the author of three poetry books and a short story collection. She is the winner and recipient of several of the most prestigious prizes and grants in Poland and, most recently, she received the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature Prize, in 2020, and the Adam Włodek Prize, in 2021. White Nights was nominated for both Polityka's Passport Award and the Grand Continent Prize, in 2022, and has recently been nominated for the Witold Gombrowicz Literary Prize and the Conrad Award, in 2023. White Nights was also recently awarded the 2023 Kościelski Prize, by the Geneva-based Kościelski Foundation, won previously by writers like Alicia Iwańska, Jolanta Stefko and Olga Tokarczuk, among others.
Juana Adcock is a Mexican poet, translator and editor based in Scotland and working in English and Spanish. Her poems and translations have appeared in publications such as Magma Poetry, Shearsman, Modern Poetry in Translation, Asymptote and Words Without Borders. Her first book, Manca, explores the anatomy of violence in Mexico and was named by Reforma‘s distinguished critic Sergio González Rodríguez as one of the best poetry books published in 2014, and is published in English by Argonáutica. Her English-language debut poetry collection, Split, published in 2019 by Blue Diode Press, was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was included in the Guardian’s Best Poetry of 2019. Her most recent poetry publication, Vestigial (Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2022), was commissioned by the Alasdair Gray Archive. She has performed at numerous literary festivals internationally. She is co-editor and translator of Temporary Archives: Poetry by Women of Latin America (Arc Publications, 2022). Her translation of Hubert Matiúwàa's indigenous-language poetry collection The Dogs Dreamt (flipped eye, forthcoming 2023) received a PEN Translates award, and her translation of Laura Wittner's Translation of the Route is due for publication in 2024 by the Poetry Translation Centre.
As always Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.