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 

Elizabeth Grech, Malta


 Elizabeth Grech, Malta

The sun going down in the sea

The Poems

The sun going down in the sea

Help me go to sleep, mum,
you said.
The sun's going down in the sea
but I can't sleep.

My boy,
count the sticks
on the path to school,
the pebbles, the shells
that carry the song of the sea.
Smell the fragrance
of the rolling waves.
Curl up in the shells
of the snails
that you've hidden in your pockets.

I've enfolded you in my arms,
you've whispered your secret
in my ears:
I'm going to close my eyes,
cradle myself in the arms of Morpheus
but don't tell a soul.

Here in my sleeve
I've kept the kisses
you blew me this morning
when I was trying to sleep.

(Translated by Roger West)


Ο ήλιος στη θάλασσα

Μαμά, μάθε με να κοιμάμαι,
μου είπες.
Ο ήλιος έχει αποκοιμηθεί στη θάλασσα και εγώ δεν καταφέρνω να κοιμηθώ.

Γιέ μου,
μέτρα τα κλαδιά στο έδαφος
στον δρόμο για το σχολείο,
μέτρα τα βότσαλα, τα κοχύλια
που φέρνουν το τραγούδι της θάλασσας.
Αφουγκράσου τον ήχο των κυμάτων
που πάνε κι έρχονται.
Κουλουριάσου στο καβούκι του σαλιγκαριού
που κρύβεις στην τσέπη σου.

Σε αγκάλιασα,
μου εμπιστεύθηκες ένα μυστικό:
είμαι έτοιμος να κλείσω τα μάτια μου
και να πλεύσω στην αγκαλιά του Μορφέα, αλλά μην το πεις σε κανέναν.
Στο μανίκι, έχω φυλάξει
όλα τα φιλιά που μου έχεις δώσει
το πρωί
όταν κάνω
ότι κοιμάμαι.

(Translated by Ioanna Karamali
Greek versions from Μετέωρες χώρες, translated by Ioanna Karameli, Vakxikon Publications, Athens, 2021).


Ix-xemx torqod fil-baħar (Maltese)

Ma, għallimni norqod.
Ix-xemx niżlet torqod fil-baħar
u jien ma nistax norqod.
Hekk għidtli.

għodd iz-zkuk li ssib
fit-triq lura mill-iskola,
għodd ċ-ċagħaq u l-arzell
mimli bl-għanja tal-baħar.
Xomm il-ħoss tal-mewġ
jofrogħ u jimla.
Intelaq fid-dar tal-bebbux
li tħobb taħbi fil-but.

Ħaddantek miegħi
u ġo widnejja żerżaqtli sigriet:
se nagħlaq għajnejja
se nsalpa fi ħdan Morfew
imma tgħid lil ħadd.
għandi l-bews
li tfajtli dalgħodu
waqt li taparsi
kont għadni

* * * 

Black are your eyes

Your eyes hold mine.
There is no need for words.
The soft skein within them is as revealing
as the lines engraved on your face.

I wish I could pluck out, one by one
the memories tinged red black and green,
obliterate from your mind
the lifeless infant bodies splayed on cold beaches
that still haunt you.

I exhort the moon
to shed its lemony whiteness
into the depths of the chasm
that felled your heart,
for we both know
the cracks are still raw,
and the map bearing etchings of
your country
is still being ripped apart.

I hope to glean
some day
a trace of that playful gaze,
that serene softness
hidden beneath
your calloused hands,
the creases in your lips,
the waves furrowing your brow.

(Translated by Irene Mangion)


Τα μαύρα σου μάτια

Τα μάτια μου αιχμάλωτα των δικών σου.
Δεν χρειάζονται λεπτομέρειες.
Οι αχνές γραμμές μιλούν
όπως τα χαραγμένα στο πρόσωπό σου σημάδια.

Θα πετούσα μακριά
μία προς μία
τις κόκκινες μαύρες πράσινες αναμνήσεις.
Θα διέγραφα από το μυαλό σου τα άψυχα παιδικά σώματα στις ακτές
που σε στοιχειώνουν ακόμα.

Θα ήθελα να επικαλεστώ
το φεγγάρι,
ικετεύοντας το να ρίξει το λευκό φως του,
να θεραπεύσει τις ρωγμές της αβύσσου
στην καρδιά σου,
γιατί ξέρω ότι γνωρίζεις
πως είναι ακόμα ανοιχτές
και ο χάρτης της χώρας σου
ακόμη κομματιάζεται.

Ελπίζω να ξαναδώ
μια μέρα
το πονηρό σου βλέμμα
την κρυμμένη γλυκύτητα
κάτω από την αδεξιότητα των χεριών σου
κάτω από τα αυλάκια των χειλιών σου
κάτω από τον κυματισμό των φρυδιών σου.

(Translated by Ioanna Karamali)


Suwed għajnejk

Għajnejja maqbuda f'għajnejk.
M'hemmx għalfejn dettalji.
L-istrixxi sfumati
jitkellmu daqs il-linji mħaffra ta' wiċċek.

Nixtieq innittef waħda waħda
il-memorji ħomor suwed ħodor,
inħassar minn moħħok
l-iġsma trabi bla ħajja fuq bajjiet
li għadhom iwaħħxuk.

Nixtieq insejjaħ
nitolbu jferra' l-abjad isfar tiegħu,
ixellel ix-xquq abbissi
li hemm f'qalbek,
għax naf li taf
li għadhom miftuħa
u l-mappa ta' pajjiżek

Nittama li nerġa' nilmaħ
xi darba
il-ħarsa brikkuna,
il-ħlewwa kalma
li tistaħba
taħt il-guffaġni ta' jdejk,
taħt it-tikmix ta' xofftejk,
taħt il-mewġ ta' ħuġbejk.

The Poet

Elizabeth GRECH is a self-taught translator and works with various NGOs, cultural and artistic organisations. Since 2018, she in charge of translation, international relations and communication with Mana Chuma Teatro (Italy). She is also a literary translator and has translated various contemporary Maltese poets and writers into French. Many of her translations have been published in book form and in literary journals. Her own poetry has appeared in a number of collections and reviews in different languages and her first poetry collection "bejn baħar u baħar" was published by Merlin Publishers (Malta, 2019). The Italian translation "Terre sospese" by Virginia Monteforte and Massimo Barilla (with the author) was published by Capire Edizioni (Forlì, 2019) and the Greek translation "Μετέωρες χώρες, translated by Ioanna Karameli was published by Vakxikon Publishers (Athens, 2021). The Spanish version translated by Marisol Bohorquez Godoy will soon be published by Ril Editores (Barcelona).

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