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 

George Blanas, Greece


George Blanas, Greece

The Poems


Swift is the Soul
swift and soft.
Remember it.
If you are alive it is because it can run
faster than Life
and pass through the holes of Death

Life follows you, slow and stiff:
panting, lagging, breaking at the ends.

But in time it gets used to your pace
softens, overtakes you -- wherever you are.
Your soul slowly hardens and slows down
and this is called Death. Remember it.

(Translation by Yannis Goumas)



Γρήγορη είναι η Ψυχή·
γρήγορη και μαλακή· να το θυμάσαι.
Αν ζεις είναι γιατί μπορεί να τρέχει
πιο γρήγορα από την Ζωή
και να περνά τις τρύπες του Θανάτου
δίχως να φθαρεί.

Η Ζωή, αργή και δύσκαμπτη, σ' ακολουθεί:
αγκομαχεί, μένει πίσω, σπάζει στις άκρες.

Κάποτε όμως συνηθίζει στον ρυθμό σου,
μαλακώνει, σε ξεπερνά· όπου και να 'σαι.
Η ψυχή σου σκληραίνει αργά κι αργεί.
Κι αυτό το λένε Θάνατο· να το θυμάσαι.

* * * 


A humble garden is all I ask of you:
a small patch of jostling greenery;
some trees, a corner
where you may visit in the afternoons: cool
helmsman of the earth,
exhaling a smoke of intoxicating gleams;
and, at most, a simple hut,
the smallest effort of the void to shore up something
of the swift-winged course of human affairs.
I, standing at the gate,
seeing whatever I held dear play
reckless games in the light of the dying day,
think to myself: that's all I ask of you,
a humble garden, nothing else.

(Translation by John C. Davies)



Δεν σου ζητώ παρ' έναν κήπο φτωχικό:
ένα μικρό πυκνόφυτο περιβολάκι·
δυο-τρία δέντρα, μια γωνιά
να 'ρχεσαι τ' απογεύματα:
ο δροσερός καπετάνιος της γης,
καπνίζοντας ανταύγειες μεθυστικές
και το πολύ-πολύ μια καλύβα λιτή,
μιαν ελάχιστη προσπάθεια του κενού να κλείσει κάτι
απ' τη γοργόφτερη πορεία των ανθρωπίνων.
Εγώ, στην πόρτα της ορθός,
βλέποντας ό,τι λάτρεψα να παίζει
παιχνίδια ριψοκίνδυνα στο φως το δειλινό,
να σκέπτομαι: δεν σου ζητώ
παρ' έναν κήπο φτωχικό - μονάχα αυτό.

The Poet

Poet, critic and translator George Blanas [Athens 1959 -] first published in 1987 with the publication of his poems: Life swims like a whale unsuspecting before the killing. Since then he has published 10 poetry books: * Your inescapable flourishing * Night * Frenzied * His answer * Episode * The poems of the last century * Ode to George Karaiskakis * Stasiotika [1-50] * Stasiotika [51-100], * Monstrosity * The Blackbird of the Universe. He has translated contemporary poetry (Pound, Blok, Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, Bukowski), classics (Shakespeare, Moliere, Blake, Poe, Shelley) and Ancient Greek writers (Archilochus, Palladas, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides). His translations of ancient drama and Shakespearean works have often been used in performances of the Athens-Epidaurus Festival and other theatrical organizations. His works have been repeatedly awarded: Literary Magazine «Diavazo» Award, Karolos Koun Accolade, State Translation Award.


Ο ποιητής, κριτικός και μεταφραστής Γιώργος Μπλάνας [Αθήνα 1959 - ] εμφανίστηκε στα γράμματα το 1987 με την έκδοση της ποιητικής συλλογής: Η ζωή κολυμπά σαν φάλαινα ανύποπτη πριν την σφαγή. Έκτοτε εξέδωσε 10 ποιητικά βιβλία: * Η αναπόφευκτη ανθηρότητά σου * Νύχτα * Παράφορο * Η απάντησή του * Επεισόδιο * Τα ποιήματα του προηγούμενου αιώνα * Ωδή στον Γεώργιο Καραϊσκάκη *Στασιωτικά [1-50] *Στασιωτικά [51-100], *Τερατούργημα και Ο Κότσυφας του Σύμπαντος. Μετέφρασε σύγχρονους (Pound, Blok, Ginsberg, Dylan Thomas, Bukowski) κλασικούς (Shakespeare, Moliere, Blake, Poe, Shelley) και Αρχαίους Έλληνες συγγραφείς (Αρχίλοχος, Παλλαδάς ο Αλεξανδρεύς, Όμηρος, Αισχύλος, Σοφοκλής, του Ευριπίδης, Αριστοφάνης.) Οι μεταφράσεις του αρχαίων δραματικών και σαιξπηρικών έργων χρησιμοποιούνται συχνότατα σε παραστάσεις του Φεστιβάλ Αθηνών-Επιδαύρου και άλλων θεατρικών οργανισμών. Οι εργασίες του έχουν επανειλημμένα βραβευθεί: Βραβείο Περιοδικού Διαβάζω, Έπαινος Κάρολος Κουν, Κρατικό Βραβείο Μετάφρασης.

Βραβεία Jean Moréas 2021 - Βραχείες λίστες
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