The Squatter's Gift

The Squatter's Gift

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By Robert Rybicki

Translated by Mark Tardi

ISBN: 9781628973730

Publication Date: 04/20/2021

The comforts of ritualized shopping, Greek mythology intersecting with 1980s Polish punk music, poetic string theory and time travel, and psychedelic dumpster diving all rolled into one.

The Squatters' Gift is a poetic travelogue through numerous languages and locales, both real and imaginary. Like Miron Białoszewski, Paul Celan and Tristan Tzara before him, Rybicki excavates syllable and song, mind and muck, to invent a transnational poetry pointedly unapologetic and utterly unique. Karol Maliszewski observes that Rybicki has taken over from the Surrealists and the Dadaists: “the hero of these poems is language — escaping from a man and suddenly returning in flashes and dazzles."


“The hero of these poems is language –– escaping from a man and suddenly returning in flashes and dazzles. Some of these dazzles are of the highest quality, withstanding comparisons to the dazzles of Max Jacob or Rene Char.” —Karol Maliszewski

Biographical Information

Robert Rybicki was born in Rybnik in 1976. A poet, translator, squatter (at times) and self-described ‘happener,’ Rybicki is the author of nine books of poetry, including Epifanie i katatonie (Epiphanies & Catatonics), Masakra kalaczakra (Kalachakra massacre), and Podręcznik naukowy dla onironautów (A Scientific Handbook for Oneironauts). He served as the former editor of the artistic magazine Plama in Rybnik as well as the Polish weekly Nowy Czas (New Time) in London. His collection Dar Meneli (The Squatters’ Gift) was the winner of the Juliusz Upper Silesian Literary Award in 2018, and is forthcoming in English from Dalkey Archive Press. He currently lives and organizes literary events in Kraków.

Mark Tardi is the author of The Circus of Trust (Dalkey Archive Press, 2017), Airport music (Burning Deck, 2013), and Euclid Shudders (Litmus, 2004). Prologue, his award-winning cinepoem collaboration with Polish multimedia artist Adam Mańkowski, has been screened at film festivals throughout Europe and the United States. He was a writer-in-residence at The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in January 2020 and will be a research fellow at the Harry Ransom Center in 2021. A former Fulbright scholar, he is on the faculty of the University of Łódź.