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 

Henry Alexander Gómez, Colombia


Henry Alexander Gómez, Colombia


The Poems


They appeared suddenly,
inside a black wooden box
and carrying the night's broken air.

They walked along the years' path
shoved into any which corner of the house.
Cousin Betty accidentally discovered them,
looking for some lost toy in the attic.

A fear of dogs the bones barking death.
A spell. Dark magic. Murder on the silent balcony.

It was grandma who remembered they were the forgotten bones
of Great-Grandma Felisa. They had arrived decades ago
and hoped to become an dandful of wind,
a naïve flower.

At the bottom of the box, grandpa's strange letter
confirmed the news and demanded a space next to her tomb.

The rivers that the stone crosses after the rain
are unheard of.
Years of wandering under beds,
grinding among shadows, examining the earth,
the bones,
like a tired planet,
scream their part of the world, now as we exhume
grandpa's remains.

There they lie,
                       the two,
in a bottomless crypt,
in a celestial ossuary, examining the ligth.

The heart searches beyond the flesh.

(Translation by Caroline Witcomb and Alexa Jeffress)



Εμφανίστηκαν ξαφνικά,
ήταν χωμένα σε ένα συρτάρι από μαύρο ξύλο
και κουβαλούσαν τον σπασμένο αγέρα της νύχτας.

Προχωρούσαν στον δρόμο των χρόνων
στριμωγμένα σε μια τυχαία γωνιά του σπιτιού.
Η ξαδέρφη η Μπέτυ τα ανακάλυψε κατά λάθος,
ψάχνοντας στην αποθήκη κάποιο χαμένο παιχνίδι.

Τρόμος σκύλων αυτά τα κόκκαλα που γαβγίζουν τον θάνατο.
Ξόρκια. Μαύρη μαγεία. Φόνος στο μπαλκόνι της σιωπής.

Ήταν η γιαγιά εκείνη που θυμήθηκε πως ήταν τα ξεχασμένα κόκκαλα της προγιαγιάς 
Φελίσα. Είχαν φτάσει πριν από δεκαετίες
και προσπαθούσαν να γίνουν μια χούφτα ανέμου,
ένα νυσταγμένο λουλούδι.

Στο βάθος του κουτιού, το παράξενο γράμμα του παππού
διαβεβαίωνε το νέο και διεκδικούσε ένα μέρος δίπλα στον τάφο του.

Άγνωστα τα ποτάμια
που διασχίζει η πέτρα όταν η βροχή σβήνει.
Χρόνια να σφάλλουν κάτω από τα κρεβάτια,
τρίζοντας ανάμεσα στις σκιές, καθώς αφουγκράζονται τη γη,
τα κόκκαλα,
                   η ζωή,
σαν ένας κουρασμένος πλανήτης,
φωνάζουν το μερίδιό τους στον κόσμο, τώρα ακριβώς που ξεθάβουμε
τα λείψανα του παππού.

Εκεί αναπαύονται,
και οι δύο,
σε έναν θόλο δίχως πάτο,
σε ένα ουράνιο οστεοφυλάκιο, ερευνώντας το φως.

Η καρδιά αναζητείται πιο πέρα από τη σάρκα.

(Μετάφραση: Μαρία Καλουπτσή)
Traducción: María Kalouptsi



Aparecieron de repente,
estaban metidos en un cajón de madera negra
y cargaban el aire roto de la noche.

Andaban por el camino de los años
apretados a cualquier rincón de la casa.
Prima Betty los descubrió por error,
buscando en el cuarto de trastes algún juguete perdido.

Susto de perros esos huesos ladrando la muerte.
Sortilegio. Oscura brujería. Asesinato en el balcón del silencio.

Fue abuela quién recordó que eran los huesos olvidados
de la bisabuela Felisa. Habían llegado décadas atrás
y buscaban ser un puñado de viento,
una flor soñolienta.

Al fondo de la caja, la extraña carta del abuelo
confirmaba la noticia y reclamaba un lugar junto a su tumba.

Insólitos los ríos
que cruza la piedra después que la lluvia se extingue.
Años de errar debajo de las camas,
rechinando entre sombras, auscultando la tierra,
los huesos,
la vida,
como un planeta cansado,
gritan su parte del mundo, justo ahora que exhumamos
los restos del abuelo.

Allí descansan,
                         los dos,
en una bóveda sin fondo,
en un osario celeste, examinando la luz.

El corazón se busca más allá de la carne.

* * *


It's pointless to travel among the scent of ash, to lay poppies to rest in the blind angel's jaw.

Song of childhood: smoking skin's opium and drinking the last drop of a blues from the
darkest bottle in a Louisiana bar. Lung muzzled while the gramophone plays Bessie Smith or 
Billie Holiday.

A barefoot print gives her away, her clear shadow gives her away.

A crevice rummages in the penumbra. Find yourself powerless to count the assortment of 
clouds at your fingers.

It's beautiful to watch over the sun, naked, when night falls: the orgy of her voice low, 
curved within the earth.

(English translation by Olivia Lott)



Είναι ανώφελο να ταξιδεύεις μέσα στην μυρωδιά της στάχτης, να θάβεις παπαρούνες στα 
σαγόνια του τυφλού αγγέλου.

Τραγούδι της παιδικής ηλικίας: να καπνίζεις το όπιο του δέρματος και να πίνεις την
τελευταία γουλιά ενός μπλουζ από το πιο σκούρο μπουκάλι ενός μπαρ της Λουιζιάνα. Ο
πνεύμονας φιμωμένος καθώς το γραμμόφωνο παίζει την Μπέσσυ Σμιθ ή την Μπίλι

Ένα ξυπόλητο αποτύπωμα την προδίδει, την προδίδει η διάφανη σκιά της.

Σκάλισε μια ρωγμή στο ημίφως. Ανακάλυψε τον εαυτό σου ανήμπορο να μετρήσει την 
πολλαπλότητα από σύννεφα που περιτριγυρίζουν τα δάχτυλά σου.

Είναι όμορφο να παραφυλάς γυμνή τον ήλιο όταν νυχτώνει: το όργιο της φωνής της 
κατεβαίνει κυλώντας στο εσωτερικό της γης.

(Μετάφραση: Μαρία Καλουπτσή)
Traducción: María Kalouptsi



Inútil es viajar entre el olor de la ceniza, sepultar amapolas en las mandíbulas del ángel

Canción de la infancia: fumar el opio de la piel y beber la última gota de un blues de la
botella más oscura de un bar de Louisiana. El pulmón amordazado mientras el gramófono
suena a Bessie Smith o a Billie Holiday.

Una huella descalza la delata, la delata su sombra transparente.

Hurga una grieta en la penumbra. Descúbrete impedida para contar la multiplicidad de 
nubes que rodean tus dedos.

Es bello vigilar desnuda al sol cuando anochece: la orgía de su voz baja cóncava al interior de
la tierra.

The Poet

Henry Alexander Gómez (Bogotá, 1982). He is the director of the Literature Festival "Ojo en la tinta". He has received many distinctions, among them, the Externado University National Poetry Prize, the Silva House of Poetry Prize and the José Verón International Poetry Prize of Spain for the book Tratado del alba (2016). Other published books: Memorial del árbol (2013), Second Prize for Poetry Unpublished Work; Diabolus in musica (2014), Ciro Mendía National Poetry Prize; Georg Trakl en el ocaso (2018); La noche apenas respiraba (2018) Honorable Mention Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz International Literature Contest and Finalist of the National Poetry Prize of the Ministry of Culture. In 2021 he received the International Short Story Award Juan Ruiz de Torres for the book Cuentos para hundir un submarino. He is cofounder of the Poet Magazine La Raíz Invertida (


Henry Alexander Gómez (Bogotá, 1982). Es director del Festival de Literatura "Ojo en la tinta". Ha recibido diferentes distinciones, entre ellas, el Premio Nacional de Poesía Universidad Externado, el Premio Casa de Poesía Silva y el Premio Internacional de Poesía José Verón de España por el libro Tratado del alba (2016). Otros libros publicados: Memorial del árbol (2013), Segundo Premio de Poesía Obra Inédita; Diabolus in música (2014), Premio Nacional de Poesía Ciro Mendía; Georg Trakl en el ocaso (2018); La noche apenas respiraba (2018) Mención Honorífica Certamen Internacional de Literatura Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz y Finalista del Premio Nacional de Poesía del Ministerio de Cultura. En el 2021 recibió el Premio Internacional de Cuento Juan Ruiz de Torres por el libro Cuentos para hundir un submarino. Es cofundador de la Revista de Poesía La Raíz Invertida (

Ελιάνα Χουρμουζιάδου
Paura Rodríguez Leytón, Bolivia


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