Piotr Florczyk was born and raised in Kraków, Poland. He moved to the United States at age sixteen and received an MFA from San Diego State University in 2006.
Florczyk is the author of the poetry collection East & West: Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2016) and the essay collection Los Angeles Sketchbook (Spuyten Duyvil, 2015), as well as several volumes of Polish poetry translations. His translation of Anna Świrszczyńska’s Building the Barricade (Tavern Books, 2016), with an introduction by Eavan Boland, was selected by Marilyn Hacker as the winner of the 2017 Harold Landon Morton Award.
About Florczyk’s winning translation, Hacker writes:
Written in the 1970s, the poet Świrszczyńska, born in 1909, recalled with astonishing and timeless accuracy her participation, with other women and men, boys and girls, in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, a doomed popular armed resistance to the German invaders—the poet serving as a nurse in a field hospital at the heart of urban combat. The poems, though, do not center on the poet/nurse: each short text has its own implied longer story: the girl scout resistant; the family in the bombed building; the wounded soldier’s father; the mother hiding her baby, the adolescent combatants, and yes, the nurse, carrying bandages and bedpans, talking to the dying. I write “Warsaw” and could write “Gaza,” “Aleppo,” “Mosul.” Piotr Florczyk’s translations live as poems in English, brief, honed, resonant. Anna Świrszczyńska’s poems are themselves an act of resistance, refusing both romanticism and oblivion in their acts of witness that inscribe and transcend the events she chronicled.
He currently lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California and serves as translation editor for The Los Angeles Review.