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Maria Kazimiera Sarnacka


Category II. Folk writing

Field of activity:
Folk literature

Dołhobrody, Hanna commune, Włodawa county, Lublin province

Maria Kazimiera Sarnacka was born on 31 May 1939 in Dołhobrody village on the Bug river in Podlasie region, and she lives there until present day. She is a cheerful, friendly person who loves her home village and people, and is particularly sensitive to the beauty of nature. Poetry was present in her life since her youth years, but she didn’t publish her early works. She decided to release her first individual volume of poetry, Wiersze (Poems), only in 1992. Later, she published: Wyrosły z chłopskich pól (Born out of Peasant Fields), 1992; Sercem pisane, wiersze z lat 1992-2000 (Written With the Heart. Poems 1992–2000); Oddałam serce Bogu i wioskom, wiersze z lat 1980-2002 (I Gave My Heart to God and Villages. Poems 1980–2002); Poezja – Dziecięcy świat – Mój świat, wiersze z lat 2005-2007 (Poetry – Children’s World – My World. Poems 2005–2007); Przez życie z poezją, wiersze z lat 2002-2005 (With Poetry in Life: Poems 2002–2005); U progu jesieni (On the Threshold of Autumn), 2009; Pokłoń się swojej ziemi (Bow to Your Land, in Ukrainian), 2012; and Poezja, Lata Wspomnień i Nadziei (Poetry. Years of Recollections and Hope), 2016.


Her works were also included in collections of poems: Amatorska twórczość literacka Podlasia (Amateur Literary Works of Podlasie), 1990; a book of poems about Podlasie region Igliwia smak (The Taste of Conifer Needles), 2001; in Arkusze Literackie „Kocham Cię”(I Love You Literary Magazine) released by the Duszpasterstwo Rolników in Włocławek in 1995, 1998, and 1999; in Polska nam papieża dała (Poland Gave Us a Pope) released by the Stowarzyszenie Literackie Białego Pasterza – Cracow 1999; in collective publications of the Maksyma Literature Club; in publications of the Włodawa Culture Centre: Tomik Poezji Ludowej (A Folk Poetry Volume), 2001, Poezje nadbużańskie (Bug River Poetry), 2005, 2007, a collection of poems Słowami Duszy (Words of Soul) by the Łączeń Poetry Group, Włodawa 2007; in Młodzi Twórcom (Young People to Artists), Hanna 2009; and in the press, for example, Gazeta Chłopska, Podlaskie Echo Katolickie, and Słowo Podlasia.


In her works, she writes about love, God, the beauty of nature, the meaning of life, the difficult yet beautiful work in the fields, about passing, and the values and traditions of her region. In the latest book of poems, released in 2016, she also included her recollections in prose.


She is an active member of numerous literary and religious organizations, for example, the Maksyma Podlaski Literature Club in Biała Podlaska (since 1986), Bractwo Literackie Białego Pasterza literature club in Cracow (since 1996); she was also a member of the Wrzos Seniors Club in Biała Podlaska, the Łączeń Poetry Group in Włodawa, and the Martyrium Association for Remembrance of Podlasie Uniates. She has also received an official acknowledgment of her active participation in the process of founding the Dołhobrody Region Museum in 2006.


Maria Kazimiera Sarnacka has taken part and won awards at numerous competitions, fairs and presentations of national, province and county range, for example, the Ewa Szelburg-Zarembina Poetry Contest Wiersze Dzieciom in Chełm 1992, 1994, 1995; the Folk Art Fair in Biała Podlaska in 1983, 1990, 2007; the 3rd prize in the Folk Art of Southern Podlasie competition in Biała Podlaska in 1984, 1991; the Folk Art Review during the International Folklore Fair, Biała Podlaska 2006, 2007; the Biesiada Nadbużańska in Biała Podlaska 1990, Sosnówka 1991, Rokitno 1993, Janów Podlaski 1994, Platerów 1995, Konstantynów 1996, Kodeń 1997, and Sławatycze 1998; the Christian Community Days in Biała Podlaska, 1993; the Biesiada Poetycka in Cracow in 1997, Biała Podlaska 1999, Różanka 1999; the Folk Art of Southern Podlasie Inter-province Competition in Biała Podlaska, 1998; the Non-professional Art Review in Biała Podlaska, 1999; the County Review of Folk Art, Drelów 1999; the Sabina Derkaczewska Poetry Contest – Krasnystaw 2002–2006; the 11th Hetmański Fair – Zamość 1999, 2005; the Folk Art Review of the Biała Podlaska branch of the Folk Artists Society (STL) – Biała Podlaska 2003; the Lewkowskie Fairs – Dokudów 2003; the Folk Artist Meetings – Dołhobrody 2003, Hanna 2005; the Folk Art Review of the Chełm branch of STL – Krasnystaw 2004; the Autumn Meetings of Folk Artists in Biała Podlaska 2004; the Holeński Fair in Hola 2006–2015; the Jagielloński Fair in Parczew 2006–2008; the 18th Folklore Fair in Biała Podlaska 2008, Włodawa 2009; Serce jak obłok (Heart Like a Cloud) Competition of the Catholic Section of Radio Podlasie in Siedlce; an award of distinction in Jan Pocek National Literature Competition in Lublin, 2015, 2016. She also presents her works at open-air, commemorative and religious events in Hanna commune, Włodawa county and Lublin province.


Maria Kazimiera Sarnacka has also other talents: she sings and appears in ceremonial performances (she is a member of the Jutrzenka Folk Ensemble, the winner of Oskar Kolberg Award in 2005), and pursues embroidery and lacemaking. She is a  multiple winner of regional cuisine competitions (she prepares Podlasie sękacz, wedding korowaje, sułoducha, and kutiuchy). She appeared in the Polish Television 1 educational programme Para w Polskę – Dołhobrody in 2003, and at Ceremonial Visual Arts and Easter Baking Fairs in Biała Podlaska in 2004–2006. She is a multiple winner of the Our Culinary Heritage competition in 2001–2006. In 2003, she received the Perła 2003 award for Dołhobrody korowaj.


Maria Kazimiera Sarnacka participates in educational activities, including meetings, workshops, school library classes, radio programmes and European Union projects implemented by schools, culture centres and libraries in her commune and county. In 2014 she received the honorary distinction For Merit to Polish Culture.


Anna Kazimieruk