Somnia, published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2019, Manchester, UK. 76 pages, £10. ISBN 978-1-912211-50-0
Editor: Alec Newman and cover photo, collage created by Mark Mawer. Collection showcased at Blackpool Illuminations Festival 2019.
Book available from Knives, Forks and Spoon Press
and pre-order at Amazon.
‘One of the best books of poetry I’ve read this year is Maria Stadnicka’s extraordinarily vivid collection, Somnia.’ (Ian Seed, writer and academic, author of New York Hotel, a TSL Book of the Year)
‘Stadnicka’s poetics is one of craftmanship, wherein she carefully walks the tightrope of surreal poetic metaphor and the gritty realism of investigative journalism and broadcasting. Drawing on her experiences in both, Stadnicka’s writing culminates into a distinctly inventive literary landscape.’ (Briony Hughes, Stride Magazine, Oct. 2019)
‘First and foremost, this is a wonderful collection: every poem is an evocative and moving vignette of personal/persona observation at its most poignant as well as uncertain. As readers we cross over surprises to arrive at others – the spaces between are landscapes of everywhere we have and haven’t been, transient like some memories, and as fixed as recurring dreams.
As an entity – the poems so often reveal their menace in pervasive rather than direct ways. They work in partnership by a different kind of sharing: obviously, the poetic which is the richly imaginative connections across and within the poems [the superb impact of all], and then there are the forces beyond individual control where our lives are determined by a common dissembling of what we thought was free-will and personal, decisive experience – and this is what we consistently read in them.
Somnia is consistently alluring and enigmatic in its poetic voice. What compels isn’t just the draw into many mysteries, but also Stadnicka’s calm creativity in conveying, for example, the horrors and/or abstractions of these – her poetic voice completely comfortable in its suggestiveness: inventive, provoking, highly visual.’ (Mike Ferguson, International Times, Sep. 2019)
If You Find My Mother, Buy Her Flowers, published by The Poets’ Republic Press, 2019, Edinburgh, UK. 46 pages, £6. ISBN 978-1-5272-4710-9
Editor and preface: Hugh McMillan, publishing editor: Neil Young.
‘Maria Stadnicka is as free as the wind. Her language is unrooted by the gravity of source and evidence, though the backdrop to her poetry is a world where war and oppression are intimate. Her poetry is from a European surrealist tradition and leaps of imagination and language are the norm – “Nothing clears/ the remains of the war better/than a new haircut” – where prosaic events lead to abject images of injustice and misery, where the ghosts of war and destruction stalk the landscape, where even “people cycling home/are struck to the ground by tarry rain.”
All this observation could be a bleak task, but through the depth of writing, the poet re-states the durability and hope of the human voice.’ (Hugh McMillan, August, 2019).
Book available from email@example.com.
The Unmoving published by Broken Sleep Books, 2018, UK, 32 pages, £5.
‘The Unmoving is a dark and delicious exploration of post war landscape. Maria Stadnicka’s beautifully crafted lines cut like a knife, her poems come to the page like water from a deep well, only the well has been poisoned. Masterfully succinct and shrouded in Stadnicka’s trademark sense of mystery, The Unmoving is as vivid a poetry chapbook as you’re ever likely to read.’ (Broken Sleep Books, 2018)
‘A chisel, a hammer, a lyre; reportage, intimate feelings, quips and criticisms. Maria Stadnicka’s poems are clusters of consciousness, graphic, material images of our world. Her language assaults, bends, cajoles, thrusts a saber into the darkness of the very language she employs to explore death, degradation, the non-recognition of the human individual, war, urban violence, in short, the all-too-present context of our daily lives. Is there an element of grace, a lyrical thread, an invocation of human beauty? Yes, if one can continue to believe in this beauty while contemplating the profound alienation and marginalization that characterizes contemporary Western societies.’ (Andrea Morehead, Osiris, 2018)
‘What she accomplishes in these mainly minimalist texts is something quite special. There’s an underlying sense of ‘exile’ which permeates the whole collection and a quality of empathy with suffering, particularly related to those who are alienated within an environment, for whatever reasons. Her mixing of narrative snippets (the syntax and grammar are straightforward) with experimental jousts and fragmentary dislocation are central tenets here, which tend to make the reader focus in on every line and its relation to those around it.’ (Steve Spence, Litter Magazine, 2018, author of Many Red Fish/ Knives, Forks and Spoons Press)
Imperfect published by Yew Tree Press, 2017, Stroud, UK. 58 pages, £10 or second edition, in pamphlet form, £5. ISBN 978-0-9562038-5-4
Editor: Philip Rush and Designer: Andrew Morrison.
‘Maria Stadnicka’s poetry is the most exciting I have read for some time. Her particular experience in Romania means that the political is not an option: she embraces it. Her work is on the frontline, also underscored by her background in journalism and broadcasting. But the genius of her poetry is to take the literal beyond itself into memorable and surreal flights of metaphor, while remaining firmly anchored at the same time. For English readers, her poetry is ‘other’; and I welcome that at a time when poetry needs to wake up to the contribution it can make at this time of transition and transparency. Our task as poets is to ‘see’: to divine a deeper reality. Her truth-gaze is unswerving.’ (Jay Ramsay, writer, editor, author of The Dangerous Book, 2018, Fitzrovia Press and Agistri Notebook, 2016, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press)
‘The work reminds me of Charles Simic’s and also the gentler end of Vaska Popa’s work. There is the same clarity of images and voice with little metaphor or allusion. Instead a kind of surrealism is at work in the direction the narratives take, in the thought processes being evidenced with their jumps and asides, their sometimes surprising conclusions.’ (Rupert Loydell, Stride Magazine, 2017)
EXITUS 2017, published by Smallminded Books, edited and printed by Rupert Loydell. Limited edition.
– Stroud Poets pamphlet, poetry anthology, published by Yew Tree Press, UK, 2016. ISBN – 978-0-9956603-0-4. The book is available here:
A Short Story About War, poetry collection (Yew Tree Press, England, 2014 ISBN 978-0-9562038-4-7) available here: