First Language(s): Polish
Second Language(s): English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian
Maja Ulasik was born in Gdansk, a year after the fall of communism. Growing up during this transitional time, among echoes of the past, she developed an interest in storytelling.
She is a graduate of Scandinavian Philology, now studying Anglophone Literatures. She writes short stories, poems, and song lyrics. She lives in Brussels.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I can’t name any specific book title. I vividly remember the Greek myths my father told me as bedtime stories. I also enjoyed learning Polish children poems by heart, especially ingenious and hilarious texts by Julian Tuwim and Jan Brzechwa. Later, as a teenager, I developed a deep interest in reading, especially Camus, Dostoyevsky and Kafka. This is when I discovered that fiction can be so much more than just storytelling.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I started writing creatively when I was a teenager, in my Sturm und Drang period, when writing was the outlet for my hormonal storm and teenage rebellion.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
This is a tricky question for me, a hypersensitive, introverted person, for whom even the most ordinary, daily activities sometimes feel like adventures. There are days when even exiting home is a big thing. A few years ago, all of a sudden, in the middle of a rainy autumn, I found myself homeless and jobless in a foreign city where I desperately wanted to stay. At first, I was terrified, but soon I discovered how enriching an experience it was. I tried several new jobs, met many different people (including a few curious characters), and made friends for a lifetime.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
I used to listen to music all the time, also while reading and writing. Now I don’t anymore. I prefer to write in cafés or parks, surrounded by the gentle hum of life happening around me. Occasionally, when I need to enter a specific mood to write a specific scene, I do use music though. I often loop one song that fits my needs.
Issue Fall '21