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 

Ko Un, South Korea


Ko Un, South Korea

The Poems

The Whisper

Rain falls.
I sit at my desk.
The desk quietly says:
Once I was a flower, was a leaf, was a stalk.
I was a long root beneath the ground
that stretched as far as yonder desert oasis

A scrap of iron on the desk says:
I was the uvula of a wolf wailing alone on moonlit nights.

The rain stops.
I go outside.
Thoroughly soaked grass says to me:
Once I was your feelings of joy and sorrow.
I was your lives and your songs.
I was your dreams.

Now I say
to desk
to iron
to earth:
Once I was you, was you, was you.
Now I am you, I am you.


그 속삭임

비가 오다
책상 앞에 앉다
책상이 가만히 말하다
나는 일찍이 꽃이었고 잎이었다 줄기였다
나는 사막 저쪽 오아시스까지 뻗어간
땅 속의 긴 뿌리였다

책상 위의 쇠토막이 말하다
나는 달밤에 혼자 울부짖는 늑대의 목젖이었다

비가 그치다
밖으로 나가다
흠뻑 젖은 풀이 나에게 말하다
나는 일찍이 너희들의 희로애락이었다
너희들의 삶이었고 노래였다
너희들의 꿈속이었다

이제 내가 말하다
나는 일찍이 너였다 너였다 너였다
지금 나는 너이고 너이다

* * * 

A Certain Joy

What I am thinking now
is what someone else has already thought
somewhere in this world.
Don't cry.

What I am thinking now
is what someone else is thinking now
somewhere in this world.
Don't cry.

What I am thinking now
is what someone else is about to think
somewhere in this world.
Don't cry.

How joyful it is
that I am composed of so many 'I's
in this world, somewhere in this world.
How joyful it is
that I am composed of so many others
Don't cry.


어떤 기쁨

지금 내가 생각하고 있는 것은
세계의 어디선가
누가 생각했던 것
울지 마라

지금 내가 생각하고 있는 것은
세계의 어디선가
누가 생각하고 있는 것
울지 마라

지금 내가 생각하고 있는 것은
세계의 어디선가
누가 막 생각하려는 것
울지 마라

얼마나 기쁜 일인가
이 세계에서
이 세계의 어디에서
나는 수많은 나로 이루어졌다
얼마나 기쁜 일인가
나는 수많은 남과 남으로 이루어졌다
울지 마라

The Poet

Ko Un is widely acknowledged to be Korea's foremost contemporary poet with an immense literary achievement of 160 books, out of which about 80 are poetry books, including monumental 30-volume Maninbo (Ten Thousand Lives). Ko Un is often called Ko Uns instead of Ko Un by literary critics because of his incredible active volcano of productivity. Ko Un manifested an immense diversity; epigrams of a couple of lines, long discursive poems; epic; pastoral; and even a genre of poems he has himself created, which is termed popular-historical poem. Ko Un wants to make his entire life, even his grave, a poem, refusing himself to be imprisoned by the effort to write poetry as an end itself. That's why most literary critics agree that his poems have attained the great liberation from the language. Ko Un has received dozens of prestigious literary awards and honours at home and abroad, and more than 80 volumes of translations of his work have been published in about 35 foreign languages, Oriental and Western.

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