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Personal archive of Eugeniusz Wachowiak

Eugeniusz Wachowiak - "So I protested after a peer from the other side of the Oder with his protest, expressed by me in Polish at home." (E. Wachowiak: ""The assimilability of words (from the consideration of the translator", 1980, p.2).

Inventory of Eugeniusz Wachowiak's personal archive

Poet, translator of German literature, author of poetic, reflective and memoir prose, was born in Leszno in 1929. After studying at the Higher School of Economics in Poznań, he worked as a clerk and then as a director in trade and industry. In addition, he divided his free time between translating poetry, prose and his own work.

In 1958 he published his first book of poems, "Poet's Africa". It was followed by others, including "Before Dreams Unrest" (1962), "It's hard to saturate the Earth" (1969), "Thuringia" (1970), "Word and Gesture" (1976), "Exit from the Darkness" (1987), "Well Medallion" (1998) and the bilingual selection "Obwohl deine Sprache anders klingt / Though speech sounds different word for word" (2015). To this day, he has published 16 collections of poems. They have been translated into German and published in journals and anthologies. 

Since 1960, he has translated works from German - initially for the literary biweekly Nadodrze - mainly poems by his GDR contemporaries, including Hans Cibulka, Bernd Jentzsch, Heinz Kahlau, Rainer Kirsch, Rainer Kunze, Werner Lindemann, Arnim Müller, Rose Nyland, Helmut Preissler. In 1965 his first mini-anthology of GDR poetry, "Dopóki serce bije" ("As long as the heart beats"), was published in the Lubuskie poetry sheets series. In 1969, together with Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, he co-edited a Representative anthology of GDR poetry, Dopowiedzenie świtu (Annotation of the Dawn), and in 1979 an Anthology of Poems by Poets of the German Democratic Republic. To him Volker Braun (1974), Johannes Bobrowski (1976), Else Lasker-Schüler (1992) and Johannes Poethen (1994) owe their reception in Poland.

Wachowiak also translated prose novels, novellas, essays - notes, diaries, reflections and longer stories by Marianne Bruns, Hans Cibulka, Franz Fühmann, Rolf Hochhuth, Heinar Kipphardt, Karl May, Arnim Müller, Erwin Strittmatter, Franz Werfel.

He published his translations of Paul Celan, Sarah Kirsch, Günter Grass, Ernst Toller, often with critical commentaries, as well as his own works in opinion-forming cultural and literary magazines, such as "Odra", "Poezja", "Nurt", "Litery", "Akcent", "Kresy", "Okolica Poetów", "Tygiel Kultury", "Przegląd Polityczny", "Tygodnik Zachodni".

In 1960-1983 he was a member of the Polish Writers' Union, and from 1989 a founding member of the Polish Writers' Association and the Polish PEN Club. At the Poznań branch of the Association of Polish Writers, he established the Roman Brandstaetter Fund and initiated its publishing activities in 1991. Moreover, within the SPP he coordinated cooperation with the "Writer's House" Association in Stuttgart. In the 1980s he published in the underground and was widely involved in opposition activity in Poznań.

Part of Eugeniusz Wachowiak's collection was donated to the archive, sorted and electronically processed in 2015. The collection contains approximately 4 running metres of documents. Among them are translations, literary commentaries, articles, readings, correspondence with authors, notes and reflections from study trips to the GDR

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