Patras World Poetry Festival 2021

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4th “Patras World Poetry Festival 2021

13th - 19th of December


This year, the 4th “Patras World Poetry Festival” boasts a variety of original literary events taking place between the 13th and 19th of December 2021, hosting a total of 70 poets from 20 different countries.

The occasion of a calendar year combining on one hand the memory of the Greek people’s fight for freedom, and on the other hand the contemporary experience of confinement, led us to this year’s thematic center: “CONFINEMENT-FREEDOM-HUMAN REVOLUTIONS”. We bring novel aims and ideas, along with a greater and more essential need for expression, synergy and communication.

For 2021, the festival’s programme will be extended from 4 days to 7, hosting a multitude of events for audiences and participants both Greek and foreign, raising the bar and aiming to establish a tradition of cultural celebration.

This year too, for its most part, the Festival will be held online, a blended programme combining physical and online activities as adjusted to Covid-19 regulations, in a shifting terrain of cultural events during the pandemic.

The events of the week’s programme will take place in three (3) different places in Patras, each one of them a space for hosting cultural events. The events will be broadcasted ONLINE on the website including both main and side events:

Main Events:

  • 15th-18th December 2021

Five (5) Online Poetry Meetings including Readings and Roundtables: There will be lecterns where the guest poets will be presented; their works will be read (in 2 languages). The guest poets will also participate in the roundtables and discuss topics revolving around poetry and criticism.

  • 18th December 2021

Online Award Ceremony for the Greek “Jean Moréas” Poetry Award for 2021: The annual ceremony for the “Jean Moréas” Awards for Greek poetic art and production in its entire spectrum.

  • 16th December 2021

Newcomer Poet Marathon: A night of presentations and readings of new poets, combining physical and online presence.

Parallel Events: (11th -19th of December 2021)

  • Festival Anthology: Limited trilingual book edition plus eBook.
  • Online shows:
  • #meet_the_poets: tributes and interviews online at the channel.
  • #videopoetry: presentation of video-poetry online.
  • Poetry Set to Singing: music radio tributes to poetry set to singing.
  • Exhibitions:
  • Poetry exhibition: presenting the works of poetry
  • Book exhibition of Newcomer Poets: presenting poetry collection books from new poets; participation from established poets and publishing houses.
  • Poetry Alley: Presentation of poets and poems (the ones participating in the festival) on a central pedestrian precinct of Patras.

During both the physical and the online events, there will be participation from internationally acclaimed academics, novelists, critics, and representatives of institutions.

The Patras World Poetry Festival 2021 is organized by the “Grafeion Poiiseos” Poetry Foundation, the literary website Culture Book (, while it is annually held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism*. The festival’s events are supported by the Greek Library of London, the University of Western Macedonia, the Hellenic Open University and many other esteemed institutions, since the festival takes place under the aegis of the Hellenic Republic’s President.

The Patras World Poetry Festival is one of the largest literary institutions in Greece, certainly the largest of its whole region, and it has already drawn attention amongst esteemed festivals internationally. Every year, the city of Patras hosts important figures of world literature and offers a richness of events, including poetry readings, seminars and cultural activities. The festival’s vision is to promote Greek literary expression worldwide and turn this capital of Western Greece into a European center for literary studies. Through its actions, the festival communicates with various departments of Greek literary studies all over the world and it chronicles contemporary poetic expression.

A detailed programme will soon be posted on the festival’s website


On behalf of the Scholarly Representatives

Kotopoulos H. Triantafyllos

Chair of the “Patras World Poetry Festival”

Skiathas D. Antonis

Chair of the “Grafeion Poiiseos” Poetry Fountation



Maria Alaniadi


Archival content available on 

Eleni Alexiou, Greece

Eleni Alexiou, Greece

Eleni Alexiou, Greece



The Poems


We were startled by how strong old things are
every fault became a jewel
We put on shabby clothes and found something new
to dedicate ourselves to. We listened to the rhythmic conversation
of the clocks, we planted beans on cotton
we smelled spring up to our belly. We counted time
on women's bodies and full moon.
We loved clean sheets, fresh bread,
worked out hands, gardens. There were so many
we did not have to do, that ideal become touchable.
Dreams, promises we recalled
and made a choice: to become
what we merit.
We fell asleep unwell
woke up in vigor.

(translated by Eleni Alexiou)



Λατρέψαμε την αντοχή των παλαιών πραγμάτων κι
όποια ρωγμή είχε το σπίτι μας την είπαμε στολίδι.
Βάλαμε ρούχα περσινά, βρήκαμε κάτι άγνωστο
να του αφοσιωθούμε. Ακούσαμε τη ρυθμική συνομιλία
των ρολογιών, φυτέψαμε φασόλια στο βαμβάκι,
μυρίσαμε την άνοιξη ως την κοιλιά. Χρονομετρήσαμε
τα σώματα των γυναικών και την πανσέληνο.
Αγαπήσαμε το καθαρό σεντόνι, το φρέσκο ψωμί,
τα δουλεμένα χέρια, τις αυλές. Κι ήταν τόσα πολλά όσα
δεν είχαμε να κάνουμε, ώστε αγγίξαμε το ιδεατό.
Θυμηθήκαμε όνειρα, υποσχέσεις
το πήραμε απόφαση: θα γίνουμε
αυτό που μας αξίζει.

Κοιμηθήκαμε άρρωστοι.
Ξυπνήσαμε υγιείς.

* * * 


Sun comes through the window
taking my blouse off
Trees ejaculate in the breeze
cloudy flakes over the town

I come to you cycling
swallowing mosquitoes and pollen
conceiving orgasms
running downhill without brakes
having my hands open - eyes closed
-If I get killed at the end of the road
let them say I was a woman who died of love-

I come like a beast who smelled the prey
waiting all winter round for you to lose the jacket
to roll up your sleeves - no one longed for
your elbows like I do-

two cherries round the ear
a thousand flowered prints of spring
topless, a knife hiding in my shorts
pen tattoos on hands
and blackened knees

like a wild girl
I come to you

(translated by Eleni Alexiou)



ο ήλιος μπαίνει απ' το παράθυρο
μου βγάζει το φούτερ
τα δέντρα εκσπερματώνουν στο αεράκι
νιφάδες από σύννεφα στην πόλη

έρχομαι με το ποδήλατο καταπίνοντας κουνούπια και γύρη
κυοφορώντας οργασμούς
τρέχοντας στην κατηφόρα δίχως φρένα
με χέρια ανοιχτά με κλειστά τα μάτια
-αν σκοτωθώ στο τέλος του δρόμου
θα πουν ότι ήμουν μια γυναίκα που πέθανε από έρωτα-

έρχομαι σαν αγριμάκι που μυρίστηκε το θήραμα
ένα χειμώνα περιμένοντας να πετάξεις το μπουφάν
να σηκώσεις τα μανίκια-κανείς δεν πόθησε
τους αγκώνες σου όπως εγώ-

με δυο κεράσια στο αυτί
με χίλια ξέφτια εμπριμέ της άνοιξης
γυμνόστηθη μ' ένα σουγιά στο σορτς
με τατουάζ από στυλό στα χέρια
και μαυρισμένα γόνατα
σαν τρελοκόριτσο έρχομαι

The Poet

Eleni Alexiou was born and lives in Trikala (Thessalia, Greece). She studied Greek Language and Literature at the University of Patras, Greece. She has a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Bath, U.K. She works as a Philologist and a guitar teacher at High School Education. She has published two poetry books, Flash (logeion publications, 2009) and Poems we wrote together (Melani publications, 2015). Her work has been published in anthologies, literary sites and magazines. Lately her poetry was included in the anthologies The other half of the sky- Greek poetesses of the 20th century (Zitros publications) and The poems of the crisis, 2008-2018 (Iolkos publications). Some of her work has been translated in English and Spanish.


H Eλένη Χρ. Αλεξίου γεννήθηκε και ζει στα Τρίκαλα. Σπούδασε Ελληνική Φιλολογία στο Πανεπιστήμιο Πατρών. Έκανε μεταπτυχιακές σπουδές στην Εκπαίδευση στο University of Bath της Αγγλίας. Eργάζεται ως φιλόλογος και καθηγήτρια κλασικής κιθάρας στη Μέση Εκπαίδευση. Έχει εκδώσει δύο ποιητικές συλλογές, Το Φλας (λογείον, 2009) και Ποιήματα που γράψαμε μαζί (Μελάνι, 2015). Κείμενά της έχουν δημοσιευθεί σε ανθολόγια και σε διαδικτυακά και έντυπα περιοδικά λογοτεχνικού περιεχομένου. Πρόσφατα ποίησή της συμπεριλήφθηκε στην ανθολογία Ποιήματα της κρίσης, 2008-2018 (εκδόσεις Ιωλκός) και στην ανθολογία Το άλλο μισό του ουρανού-Ελληνίδες ποιήτριες του 20ου αιώνα (εκδόσεις Ζήτρος). Διήγημά της συμπεριλήφθηκε στην ανθολογία Ρroyecto GreQuerías. Antologia del minicuento griego contemporaneo που κυκλοφόρησε στην Ισπανία (EDA Libros).

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