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Paweł Sołtys

In 2018 the jury gave the award to Paweł Sołtys, an experienced musician making his debut as a writer, mainly for his original view of Warsaw issues, innovative use of words, and creative relation to the prose of Marek Nowakowski.

Mikrotyki, published by Czarne, was his first book. It is surprisingly mature, even, as noticed by members of the jury, seemingly written by someone older than Sołtys. The title (referring to not only something micro, condensed, but also to drugs or the erotic – as noted by Professor Maciej Urbanowski, chairman of the chapter) carries a poetic load, is intriguing, while through its ‘micro character’ emphasises the author’s modesty and is a declaration of creative discipline. These features link Paweł Sołtys and Marek Nowakowski, who was irritated by the inflated narcissism and verboseness of his day.

Mikrotyki is prose strongly rooted in literary traditions, and, according to the jury, the author presents himself as a very well read person, comfortable in literature. Marek Nowakowski had a strong, forming influence on him, particularly his first and last creative period. However, Sołtys has his own very poetic language, which creates a unique atmosphere that in his own way touches and builds the reader’s sensitivity.

In their prose, both writers can combine a severe, sparing and sober judgement with affection for people, animals, buildings, streets, courtyards and ‘the good old days’. Their work draws on dreams of freedom and truth, about liberty of movement, freedom to roam and to be authentic, and the craziness in today’s world, full of tension. This coexists with formal discipline and a certain clarity of judgement.

Finally, what connects Marek Nowakowski and Paweł Sołtys is Warsaw and a liking for life on the fringes, as well what is close around us every day. They both take the city, its places, secrets, and people at face value, even if they originate from the city’s margins, underground, alleys, disintegrating tenements or disappearing suburbs. “We all have our roots,” as stated by the words of Nowakowski, which are now the motto of the award named in his honour.

Biography

Paweł Sołtys, born on March 30, 1978, in Warsaw, is the author of song lyrics and stories. He gained fame as one of the three vocalists of Vavamuffin, a group combining Jamaican style with Warsaw street sass. In his music career, known as Pablopavo, Sołtys has performed over a thousand concerts and released several albums. In 2014, Sołtys was awarded the Polityka Passport in the popular music category.

His stories have appeared in the literary and art magazines Lampa, Rita Baum and Studium. Sołtys also received the Gdynia literary award, the Cyprian Kamil Norwid award and the Witold Gombrowicz literary award for his prose debut Mikrotyki. He also reached the final in the Nike literary award and was nominated for the Polityka Passport in 2017.

2017

Wojciech Chmielewski

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2018

Paweł Sołtys

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2019

Rafał Wojasinski

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2020
Marta Kwaśnicka

Marta Kwaśnicka

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