Agnieszka Filipek, whose poem ‘Sleeping Bag’ is published in issue 9 of Lucent Dreaming, is a Polish–born poet living in Ireland. Her poems have appeared in over 50 publications internationally, including countries, such as Poland, Ireland, India, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Germany, Canada and the US. Her poems have appeared in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, The Cicada’s Cry, Black Bough Poetry, Crannóg, The Blue Nib, Chrysanthemum, Marble Poetry Magazine, Headway Quarterly, and elsewhere.
So, what inspired your piece ‘Sleeping Bag’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?
The poem ‘Sleeping Bag’ is about soul travelling. I read somewhere that while we sleep, the soul awakens and wanders free of the body. When the soul is coming back to the body it feels like falling. I imagine that’s when the soul is trying to fit itself back inside the body. And then we wake up, sometimes with a tumble.
What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
I read a lot of poetry and I don’t think I could pick a favourite poet. Naturally I adore all great poets, such as Wisława Szymborska, Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, Halina Poświatowska, Czesław Miłosz, Mary Oliver, Sylvia Plath, Louise Glück, Marie Howe, Imtiaz Dharker and so on. But most of all I like to read literary magazines and anthologies, because there is a wonderful gathering of different voices, old, new, known and unknown. And when a poem speaks to me, then I look for more work by that author.
My favourite genre is still fantasy and I’m in love with Casandra Clare’s books. I can let myself get lost in the beautiful world she created with her amazing characters. I also cherish the French writer Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt and I like his wonderful stories. I’m especially fond of the Polish writers Katarzyna Grochola and Piotr Adamczyk, whose sense of humour and excellent play on words I absolutely adore. And I also admire the Polish writer and traveller Wojciech Cejrowski whose books are astonishing. I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert, Agnieszka Maciąg, Beata Pawlikowska and Julia Cameron, whom I have had the privilege of meeting and doing workshops with. And of course I could name many more that I love and inspire to. I’m really grateful for their words and wisdom.
What, if anything, are you looking forward to right now and what writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I recently finished my first children’s story. I have written poems for children before, which were published in the Balloons Literary Journal in Hong Kong. However, now I was inspired to write a longer piece after the births of my nephews Dawid and Leon. I would love if this story was published as an illustration book.
Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?
I think I was born a poet or at least I always knew I wanted to be one. When I was little I would come up with rhyming poems for everyone and for every occasion, and I could memorise very long poems before I was able to read. I remember taking part in many recitation competitions as a child and later, as a teenager as well. At school I was always asked to read poetry and to perform in festive and formal ceremonies. Many teachers were very encouraging and supportive of my early writing, and my friends were my biggest fans. Also both of my parents were readers. My mother liked poetry very much, and my sister read to me before bed, so I was surrounded by words all the time.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I have a Facebook page dedicated to my work titled Pół mnie a pół tobie – Agnieszka Filipek (https://www.facebook.com/polmnieapoltobie), where I regularly post about my new publications and launches. My poems, in both English and Polish, have been published worldwide. Some have been also translated into German, Persian and Chinese. Recently my work has appeared in Capsule Stories, Local Wonders Anthology, First Frost Journal, Lucent Dreaming, Blood & Bourbon Magazine, Dead of Winter Anthology, Love Notes You’ll Never Read Anthology, Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets Anthology, Pale Fire – New Writing on the Moon Anthology, Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Babiniec Literacki, among many others.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine of surreal writing and art, and publisher of emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.