Stanislaw Janke is a journalist, poet, prose writer, but also a translator, literary historian and creator of Kashubian literature. He was born on March 20, 1956 in Kościerzyna. He comes from a nearby village called Lipusz. For more than 30 years he has been living in Wejherowo, where he has been co-creating its cultural landscape. During the years 1979-2002, he worked for a monthly magazine "Pomerania" – the most opinion-forming magazine of Kashubian-Pomeranian movement, which has been published since more than half a century by now. Janke has also worked as a journalist for such newspapers as "Gazeta Gdańska", "Wieczór Wybrzeża", or weekly "Pielgrzym". In 1993 he worked as a "Kurier Wejherowski" editor. From March 1996 to March 2010, he edited „Nasza Gmina" – a monthly magazine of Wejherowo council.

As a poet, Janke debuted in 1977 in "Pomerania" magazine. To date, he has published seven poetry books: "Ju nie jem mòtelnikã" [I am no longer a butterfly] (1983) "Żużónka jak mrzónka" [Lullaby like a dream] (1984), "Kòl kùńca wieku" [At the end of the century] (1990), "Do biôłegò rena” [Until dawn] (1994), „Krôjczi pôjczi” [Imaginary nonsense] (1997)," Piesniodzejanié" [Formation] (2003)," Pò mie swiata nie mdze” [There will be no World After me] (2007). His poems can be found in a number of poetry anthologies. Most recently they were published in "Podróż do Gdańska. Jubileuszowa antologia wierszy” [A Journey to Gdansk. Jubilee poem anthology] (2009). Janke’s poems are translated into several languages, such as Finnish, Icelandic, Russian, Italian and Piedmontese dialect. Besides poetry, Janke is also the author of a stage play called "Roczëzna" [Anniversary] (2006) as well as a vaudeville to Jerzy Łysk’s music called "Jak Kulombószów Krësztof wëkrił Amerika". In addition to that, he prepared for printing several anthologies of Kashubian prose: "Kaszëbskô nôtera" (2001), "Rost na kamiznie" (2008) and drama: " Domôcô bina. Dzewiãc dramów do jigrë "(2006). Furthermore, he wrote a documentary screenplay that was made for the Polish Television: "Morzem i ziemią malowane – o sztuce i folklorze Kaszub".

Equally impressive is Janke’s prose output written in both, Polish and Kashubian language. In 1988 he published his novel "Łiskawica", and three years later, the story "Psë". The following books: "Żółty kamień” [Yellow Stone] (1998), "Lelek" (2001), "Piękniewo" (2005), "Droga do Korony” [The Road to the Crown] (2008), came out in Polish. Stanislaw Janke, together with Edmund Szczesiak, is the co-author of a documentary collection "Kolce syberyjskiej Róży” [A Siberian Rose Thorns] (1990) dedicated to all those Pomerania inhabitants that, after the Second World War, were deported to the Soviet Union. Together with professor Jerzy Treder, he wrote a text to a photograph album "Wejherowo i Kalwaria Wejherowska” [Wejherowo and Wejherowo’s Calvary" (1993). He edited Regina Osowicka publications: "Bedeker wejherowski" [Bedeker of Wejherowo] (2006) and "Leksykon wejherowski” [Lexicon of Wejherowo" (2008). Moreover, he published two literary biographies. One of a priest dr. Leon Heyke, entitled "Poeta z kaszubskiej nocy” [Poet of the Kashubian Night] (1998), and the other of a Kashubian poet – Hieronim Derdowski, entitled "Derdowski" (2002). Lots of his papers were published under a pen name: sj, however, numerous litererary and journalistic publications can also be found under Jan Lipuski name.

Apart from that, Stanislaw Janke is a Kashubian translator. His output includes a collection of Kashubian fairy tales written by Jan Patock, like "Straszydło w Czarnowskim Młynie” [Bogey in Czarnowski Mill] (1984), an anthology "Ptak za uszami” [Bird behind the ears. Humor and satire of Kashubians” (1992), or "Klechdy kaszubskie” [Kashubian Tales] (1996) translated from Kashubian into Polish. Whereas renowned Adam Mickiewicz’s works such as "Sonety krymskie” [Crimean Sonnets] 1998, "Oda do młodości” [Ode to Youth] (1988) and "Pan Tadeusz" [Mr. Tadeusz] (2010) Janke translated into Kashubian language.

Oftentimes, Janke’s rich and extremely diverse output was appreciated and rewarded. Among his most important awards was the Stolem Medal that he received for journalism and literary achievements from a ‘Pomerania’ Student Club in 1991. In 1998 Gdańsk City Council awarded him the first prize in literature for a novel titled “Żółty kamień" [Yellow Stone]. In 2002 he received the Srebrna Tabakiera Abrahama Medal awarded by the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association in Gdynia for contribution to promote Kashubian language. In 2010 he was awarded by the Wejherowo District Board the Remus Prize for "work as a whole in the literature and journalism fields, but also for special achievements in promoting the culture".

Stanislaw Janke is a member of the Polish Writers' Association and PEN Club.


Tomasz Żuroch-Piechowski

The text was published in the Janke’s Kashubian translation of Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem titled "Pan Tadeusz" issued by the Publishing House Literary Maszoperia