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 

Ioana Gruia, Spain


Ioana Gruia, Spain

The Poems

A woman in the sun

There is nothing more absolute than a body.

I imagine the story
of this naked and pensive woman
that resembles me.

She is the lady of loneliness longing for
a stormy love,
an impetuous seaway
that, at the same time, respects her thoughts
and lets her explore the shadows.

These shadows, sometimes fleeting,
others as absolute as a body.

The shadows of love and life
frame the bright stripe
that hardly covers what a
a body does.

Naked body in the sun:
a bright place surrounded by shadows.

(translated by Eleni Kazoglou)


Μια γυναίκα στον ήλιο

Δεν υπάρχει τίποτα πιο απόλυτο από ένα κορμί.

Φαντάζομαι την ιστορία
αυτής της γυμνής και σκεπτικής γυναίκας
που μου μοιάζει.

Είναι κυρία της μοναξιάς της και λαχταρά
έναν θυελλώδη έρωτα,
μια ορμητική θαλασσοταραχή
που ταυτόχρονα σέβεται τη σκέψη της
και της επιτρέπει να εξερευνά τις σκιές.

Αυτές τις σκιές, άλλοτε φευγαλέες,
άλλοτε τόσο απόλυτες όσο ένα κορμί.

Οι σκιές του έρωτα και της ζωής
πλαισιώνουν τη φωτεινή λωρίδα
που μετά βίας καλύπτει αυτό που
καλύπτει ένα κορμί.

Κορμί γυμνό στον ήλιο:
φωτεινός τόπος περιτριγυρισμένος από σκιές.

( Μετάφραση: Λαμπρίνα Ιωάννου)


Una mujer al sol

No hay nada tan rotundo como un cuerpo.

Imagino la historia
de esta mujer desnuda y pensativa
que se parece a mí.

Es dueña de su soledad y anhela
un amor torrencial,
un pálpito de mar embravecido
que a la vez le respete el pensamiento,
que le permita analizar las sombras.

Estas sombras a veces elusivas
y a veces tan rotundas como un cuerpo.

Las sombras del amor y de la vida,
encuadrando la franja luminosa,
que abarca apenas lo que abarca un cuerpo.

Cuerpo desnudo al sol:
lugar de luz rodeado por las sombras.

* * * 

A call to reach the lighthouse. To Virginia Woolf

                    Because knowledge wasn't what she desired, she desired
                    connection, […] the same intimacy, that is knowledge
                    […] Who would have known that even at the moment of the ultimate
                    intimacy, what is gained is knowledge?

                     Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

You, who knows everything,
who knows the skin and the heartbeat,
the innermost heartbeat of things,
the areas in the dim light of the secret heart,
the one who always dreams of reaching the lighthouse,
the one that goes to the lighthouse in a sailboat,
you, who sees everything and understands everything with the
heartbeat of your genius,
show me, Virginia, the way towards the open sea.

I desperately want to reach the lighthouse,
to reach the bright point
that connects empathy with beauty,
that tames the tormented heart.

Teach me the world's and the love's
genuine intimacy,
that knowledge
where reason and skin float together.

(translated by Eleni Kazoglou)


Επίκληση για να φτάσετε στον φάρο. Στη Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ

Γιατί δεν ήταν η γνώση αυτό που εκείνη επιθυμούσε, αλλά η ένωση, 
[…] η ίδια οικειότητα, που είναι γνώση
[…] Ποιος να ξέρει ότι ακόμα και τη στιγμή της μεγαλύτερης οικειότητας, 
αυτό που αποκτάται είναι η γνώση;

Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ, Στο φάρο

Εσύ, που όλα τα ξέρεις,
που γνωρίζεις το δέρμα και τους παλμούς,
τους μύχιους παλμούς των πραγμάτων,
τις περιοχές μέσα στο ημίφως της κρυφής καρδιάς,
αυτόν που πάντα ονειρεύεται να φτάσει μέχρι τον φάρο,
αυτόν που πάει μέχρι τον φάρο με ένα ιστιοφόρο,
εσύ, που όλα τα βλέπεις και όλα τα καταλαβαίνεις με τον παλμό της ιδιοφυίας σου,
δείξε μου, Βιρτζίνια, τη ρότα σε ανοιχτή θάλασσα.

Θέλω απελπισμένα να φτάσω στον φάρο,
να φτάσω στη λάμψη
που ενώνει τη συμπόνοια με την ομορφιά,
που ημερεύει την βασανισμένη καρδιά.

Δίδαξέ μου του κόσμου και του έρωτα
τη γνήσια οικειότητα,
εκείνη τη γνώση
όπου συμπλέουν η λογική και το δέρμα.

( Μετάφραση: Λαμπρίνα Ιωάννου)


Invocación para llegar al faro. A Virginia Woolf

                     Porque no era conocimiento, sino unión lo que ella deseaba,
                     […] la intimidad misma, que es conocimiento […] ¿Quién sabe,
                     incluso en el momento de más intimidad,
                     que lo que se obtiene es conocimiento?
                      Virginia Woolf, Al faro

Tú, que todo lo sabes,
que conoces la piel y los latidos,
los íntimos latidos de las cosas,
las zonas en penumbra del corazón secreto,
ese que sueña siempre con llegar hasta el faro,
ese que va hacia el faro en un barco de vela,
tú, que todo lo ves y todo lo comprendes
con el latido de tu inteligencia,
enséñame, Virginia, la ruta en alta mar.

Quiero con desesperación llegar al faro,
llegar al resplandor
que une la comprensión y la belleza,
que calma el corazón atribulado.

Enséñame del mundo y del amor
la pura intimidad, aquel conocimiento
donde navegan juntas la razón y la piel.

The Poet

IoanaGruia: I published four poetry books and all received nacional and internacional prizes: Otoño sin cuerpo (2003, finalist of the Prize Federico García Lorca of the University of Granada), El sol en la fruta (Renacimiento, 2011, Prize "Andalucía Joven"), Carrusel (Visor, 2016, Prize Emilio Alarcos), La luz que enciende el cuerpo (Visor, 2021, Prize Hermanos Argensola). I am also the author of two novels: La vendedora de tiempo (Espuela de Plata, 2013) and El expediente Albertina (Castalia/Edhasa, 2016, Tiflos Prize). I also published essays (research books) as Eliot y la escritura del tiempo en la poesía española contemporánea (Visor, 2009), La cicatriz en la literatura europea contemporánea (Renacimiento, 2015) and La literatura comparada, una disciplina hospitalaria. Introducción a la literatura comparada (Universidad de Salamanca, 2021). 

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