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 

Mai Văn Phấn, Vietnam


Mai Văn Phấn, Vietnam

Bitter Potion

The Poems

Bitter Potion
(For Ngọc Trâm)

As fever is burning you on its pyre
I become ash too
The bitter potion cannot wait any more
Holding your hand
                              I pour
My grief into the empty bowl...

O' daughter! As the mist falls
My hardship arches across the cold night
For frail flowers
To give off scent needs bitter roots.

Sweat becomes callused hands
Spring pours into the medicine bowl
My old age weeps with mute tears
While truth bursts out for no reason.

I wonder what you eat in your dreams
I put the bowl on the window
When you grow up to my age now
At the bottom of the bowl
There may still be a storm.


Para Ngọc Trâm

La fiebre te consume en la base del fuego
También podría ser yo la ceniza
La medicina amarga no puede esperar más
Tomo tu mano
Y la vierto
Dolorosamente dejo caer el recipiente con...

Mi hija. El rocío cae gota por gota
Exprimido de la noche fría y dura
Y los pétalos de flores delicadas
Anuncian los aromas gracias a las raíces

Las callosidades se forman de los sudores
Derramo la primavera en la taza amarga
Lágrimas de mi edad en silencio en silencio
La verdad llora sin rumbo fijo

¿Qué bebes en el sueño?
Dejo la taza en la ventana
Cuando seas grande como yo ahora
En el fondo de la taza aún habrá ciclones

(Traducción del vietnamita Phạm Long Quận)


(Cho Ngọc Trâm)

Cơn sốt thiêu con trên giàn lửa
Cha cũng có thể thành tro nữa
Thuốc đắng không chờ được rồi
Giữ tay con
Cha đổ
Ngậm ngùi thả lòng chén vơi...

Con ơi! Tí tách sương rơi
Nhọc nhằn vắt qua đêm lạnh
Và những cánh hoa mỏng mảnh
Đưa hương phải nhờ rễ cay.

Mồ hôi keo thành chai tay
Mùa xuân tràn vào chén đắng
Tuổi cha nước mắt lặng lặng
Sự thật khóc òa vu vơ.

Con đang ăn gì trong mơ
Cha để chén lên cửa sổ
Khi lớn bằng cha bây giờ
Đáy chén chắc còn bão tố.

* * * 


Spreading quickly, overwhelming reclaimed virgin land
You drop one burst of wild flower after another
to whirl me up from the house with its small garden

The birds cut up immense space and leave lines of endless flight

My roots reach up to your verdant eyes
Every sprout sprays warmth to wet the bosom of earth
from the breathing that transforms the sky
from the empty sky that builds clouds up

The thatch eyes burn up the old crop
To change our vision and the vacant horizon
The earth accepts all burning cinders
The new season comes with self-confidence, grinding and wiping out all
The kiss is silent, radiating heat and boring into entrails of earth
touching underground veins swollen with old mysteries
The fertile earth fused with dawn offers up a face
with exuberant plants and trees in profusion

The seasons of resurrection are pregnant with ripe ears of paddy
The thunder bursts out in the palm seeds
The cycle of fresh alluvium embraces fibres of earth
You bow down and all of a sudden, the river rushes in.



Se extiende veloz abrumadora la tierra roturada
Con cada inundación vertida salvaje salvaje
Me arrastra fuera de casa el pequeño jardín

El pájaro corta un inmenso espacio y traza una ruta infinita

Mis raíces llenan tus ojos y se ven exuberantes
Cada semilla pulveriza la calidez del suelo mojado
Hasta la respiración hace que el cielo no esté vacío
Y se abroga el derecho de crear las nubes

El ardor en los ojos quema la paja de arroz de la vieja estación
Cambia los horizontes de la mirada y el espacio mismo
La tierra recibe el residuo de lo quemado
Se confía en la nueva temporada que aplasta y suprime todo
Los besos el silencio despiden calor y horadan el suelo
La sobrecarga del circuito subterráneo antiguo lleno de cepa mística
La tierra fértil abraza la aurora naciente alzando el rostro
El aumento de la fertilidad de la hierba exuberante

En el ciclo de renacimiento germinan espigas doradas

Los truenos explotan en las manos seminales
Las fibras de aluvión rodean la tierra por cada esquina
Te agachaste un instante y el río llegó a la carrera

(Traducción del vietnamita Phạm Long Quận)



Lan nhanh, choáng ngợp đất hoang vừa mở
Em đổ từng trận lũ dại cuồng
Cuốn xiết anh khỏi ngôi nhà có khu vườn bé nhỏ

Con chim cắt không gian rộng để lại đường bay bất tận

Cội rễ anh vươn mắt em nhìn tươi tốt
Từng hạt mầm phun hơi ấm lòng đất ướt
từ hơi thở làm bầu trời đổi khác
từ khoảng không được quyền kiến tạo đám mây

Mắt rạ rơm đốt thiêu mùa cũ
Đổi thay cách nhìn và khoảng trống chân trời
đất nhận cả những gì còn cháy dở
mùa mới về tự tin, nghiền nát và xóa hết
Nụ hôn nín thinh, tỏa nhiệt, khoan vào lòng đất
chạm những mạch ngầm ứ căng huyền bí thuở xưa
Đất mỡ màu quyện rạng đông dâng lên khuôn mặt
dâng lên cỏ cây phồn thực bời bời

Những mùa tái sinh trổ đòng chín rục
Sấm nổ vang trong lòng tay mầm hạt
Vòng phù sa tươi ròng ấp ôm thớ đất
Em cúi xuống và dòng sông ùa đến bất ngờ.

The Poet

Mai Văn Phấn was born 1955 in Ninh Bình, Vietnam. He has won a number of Vietnamese and international literary awards, including The Vietnam Writers' Association Award in 2010, The Cikada Literary Prize of Sweden in 2017, The Award of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2019 and The Literary award from Association of Literary Translators of Montenegro in 2020, Three times won the Golden Pen Literature Award of Russian Federation, 2019, 2020 and 2021, The Award Aco Karamanov of North Macedonia in 2020, The medal Alisher Navoi of the Union of Writers and Historians of Central Asia in 2021,... He has published 16 poetry books and 1 book "Critiques - Essays" in Vietnam. 27 poetry books of his are published and released in foreign countries and on Amazon's book distribution network. Poems of Mai Văn Phấn are translated into 36 languages.

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