She published her first poems while still at school, debuting in 1931 — at the age of 14 — with the poem "Uczta wakacyjna" (A Vacation Feast) published in the bimonthly high-school newspaper Echa Szkolne edited by Czesław Janczarski.Her "mainstream" debut in a nationwide forum took place in August 1933 in the pages of the Kuryer Literacko-Naukowy, a Sunday supplement to the well-known Ilustrowany Kuryer Codzienny, with the publication of the 16-line poem entitled "Żyzność sierpniowa" (Fertility in the Month of August; or perhaps, with greater poetic licence: Fullness of August).
She was 17 years old; most if not all of the other 22 finalists (like Tadeusz Hollender, b. 1909, who won first prizes, or Witold Makowiecki, b.
1903, who won an honourable mention, first class, and Juliusz Żuławski, b.
1910, honourable mention, third class) were her seniors in age.
Seven weeks later, in its edition of 2 September 1934, Wiadomości Literackie will revisit its poetry competition by publishing a list of additional book prizes awarded to the winners: for her contribution, Zuzanna Ginczanka will receive a collection of Michelangelo's poetry in the translation of Leopold Staff.
Ginczanka's poem, which opens boldly with a punctuation mark (a left parenthesis), deals with parts of speech, describing each in a poetic way beginning with the adjective, then taking on the adverb, and ending with a philosophico-philological analysis of the personal pronoun ("I without you, you without me, amounts to nought"; line 30) — To this period belongs likewise Ginczanka's poem "Zdrada" (Betrayal; though the word can also mean "treason") composed sometime in 1934.
Upon her arrival in town in September 1935, the 18-year-old Ginczanka, already famous, quickly became a "legendary figure" of the pre-War bohemian world of artists in Warsaw, where she was known to be a protégée of Julian Tuwim, the doyen of the Polish poets at the time, a connection which opened for her the doors to all the most important literary periodicals, salons, and publishing houses of the country.
(Her detractors bestowed on her the sobriquet of "Tuwim in a petticoat", Tuwim w spódnicy; while Gombrowicz, known for inventing his own private names for all his acquaintances, monikered her "Gina".) High-calibre critics, such as Karol Wiktor Zawodziński, have traced aspects of Ginczanka's lyricism to the poetic achievement of Tuwim, deemed both indefinable and inimitable but concerning primarily the renewed focus on the word, its freshness, and the ultimate conciseness of expression respective of each particular poetic image or vision treated.
Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz for his part recalls that Ginczanka was "very good" as a poet from the first, without any initial period of incubation of the poetic talent, and — conscious of her literary prowess — kept herself apart from literary groupings, in particular wishing to distance herself publicly from the Skamander circle with which she would have normally been associated by others.
Although she published only a single collection of poetry in her lifetime, the book O centaurach (About the Centaurs, 1936) created a sensation in Poland's literary circles.