Heaney-Miłosz Residency in Kraków | Poland


Deadline 30/09/2022


The Estate of Seamus Heaney, together with the Krakow Festival Office (KBF), operator of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature title, and the Embassy of Ireland in Poland, are pleased to launch a new Residency programme at the former apartment of Polish poet and writer Czesław Miłosz in Krakow, Poland.


Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980, Czesław Miłosz is one of Poland’s most renowned writers. Described by Seamus Heaney as a “veteran of turmoil”, Miłosz experienced first-hand the devastation of war and occupation in Central and Eastern Europe. These experiences, and indeed his Polish-Lithuanian heritage, vividly shaped his writing.  As Seamus Heaney said of Miłosz’s work – “you are in thrall to a unique voice, a poetry cargoed with a density of experience that has been lived through and radiated by an understanding that has rendered it symbolic”.


Czesław Miłosz resided at his apartment in his adopted home city of Krakow, Poland, for the last decade of his life. There, he and Seamus Heaney – both Nobel Laureates – cemented their friendship. Their respective works were shaped by experiences of conflict and adversity, but also underpinned by a shared commitment to human dignity and rights, while celebrating the plurality of identity.



About the Residency

The Heaney-Miłosz Residency aims to support early to mid-career writers, resident in Ireland, to further develop their work. It is intended that the Residency will also provide the basis for deepening further the many literary links between Ireland and Poland.


Krakow was designated as a City of Literature when it joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2013.  The designation recognises the rich literary heritage of the city and its status as a leading Polish academic and intellectual centre.  Major international literary festivals such as the Conrad and Miłosz Festivals are hosted annually in the city, alongside book fairs, a range of different residencies and wide-ranging cultural initiatives. The Krakow UNESCO City of Literature program is operated by the Krakow Festival Office (KBF) – a municipal institution responsible for cultural activities in the city.


The selected Residency writer will be based at the Miłosz apartment in Krakow centre for a period of 4-6 weeks in autumn 2023. Thereafter, it is intended to host the Residency programme in Krakow biennially.


The principal aim of the Residency is to support an early to mid-career writer with both the creative space and time to focus on their writing.  In order to assist in further developing the literary links with Krakow and the region, a limited number of public engagements in Krakow will also be requested of the chosen writer during the Residency period. This may include talks at Festival events, engagements with academia and young writers, and/or engagement with the local community.  Upon completion of the Residency, the Residency writer will be asked to provide a written reflection of their experiences in Krakow and/or Poland.  This reflection may be used for publication/promotional purposes.


The selected candidate will be supported during the Residency period by KBF, the Embassy of Ireland in Warsaw and the Estate of Seamus Heaney. This will include full accommodation at the Miłosz apartment for the period of the Residency and a stipend of €250 weekly.  Flights and transfer costs to and from Krakow will also be covered.


Who May Apply?

 The Residency is open to early to mid-career writers, who are focussed on creative writing, including poetry in particular.


To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

– Be resident on the island of Ireland.

– Provide evidence of work previously published, available in English


 The following would also be considered desirable for applicants:

– Good knowledge of and/or interest in Poland or Central and Eastern Europe more broadly.


Making an Application

To make an application, writers should complete the Application Form provided, setting out amongst other details, the following:

– Why a Residency in Krakow would be beneficial for the development of their writing;

– An outline of engagement or interest in Poland, Central Europe or the region;

– A proposal or draft of writing already begun that they wish to develop during the Residency


Applications should be sent to contact@literaryresidenciespoland.pl by 17:00 Irish time on Friday 30  September 2022, using the subject line “Heaney-Miłosz Residency Application”. Applications will be accepted by email only. Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted. Informal inquiries in advance of the closing date may be made to contact@literaryresidenciespoland.pl


Assessment Process

 A Board, comprised of both Polish and Irish representatives, will review applications. The Board will shortlist applicants based on the following criteria:

– Record of applicant

– Quality of proposal and relevance to the aims of the Residency programme

– Potential impact of Residency on the writer’s own creative practice and/or on furthering literary links between Poland and Ireland.


A final shortlist may be created with the possibility that shortlisted candidates be invited to interview.  Final decisions, based on the above criteria, will be communicated by the end of December 2022.