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 

Penelope Zardoukα, Greece

Penelope Zardoukα, Greece

Penelope Zardoukα, Greece

The Poems

Penelope's Odyssey

In my own Odyssey
Penelope goes down to Hades
every day

Hidden travel underground
she comes down with an improvised flashlight
she stumbles constantly
the downhill is endless
she hears the dead screaming
tightens the child
the flashlight goes out the batteries run out
she takes off her shoes
she hears her mother smiling
-she is still looking for her mom-

The train passes - she loses it
The screams resound
she wanders half-dark
Elpinoras and Hercules
they passes her - and how many more
but none of them recognized her?

The blood in the gap is gushing
on the escalator is lost
is coming down

Souls wear masks
she also wears a mask
wet eyes ask for an exit
and who can tell her the truth about Ithaca?

In my own Odyssey
Penelope kills all the suitors
on her own
she finds them again in the last wagons
one with a bow on his head
in the heart knife another
the third has headphones on

Every day in Hades she dies
one gives her a ticket
oracle of Tiresias - who knows

The world of the dead is dark
and she is always shaded

After all
Odyssey is not Homer's
it's Penelope's

Next stop: Penelope's Odyssey


Πηνελόπης Οδύσσεια

Στη δική μου Οδύσσεια
η Πηνελόπη κατεβαίνει στον Άδη
κάθε μέρα

Ταξίδι υπόσκαφο υποχθόνιο κρυφό
κατεβαίνει με αυτοσχέδιο φακό
παραπατάει συνέχεια
η κατηφόρα ατέλειωτη
ακούει νεκρούς να ουρλιάζουν
σφίγγει το παιδί
σβήνει ο φακός οι μπαταρίες τελειώνουν
βγάζει τα παπούτσια της
ακούει τη μάνα της ν' αχνογελά
-την ψάχνει ακόμα τη μαμά της-

Περνάει ο συρμός - τον χάνει

Αντιλαλούν τα ουρλιαχτά
περιδιαβαίνει μισοσκότεινη
Ελπήνορας και Ηρακλής
την προσπερνούν – και πόσοι ακόμα
μα δεν την αναγνώρισε κανείς τους;

Το γαίμα στο διάκενο αναβλύζει
στις κυλιόμενες χάνεται

Φορούν μάσκες οι ψυχές
φορά μάσκα κι αυτή
τα μάτια υγρά ζητούν μιαν έξοδο
και ποιος αλήθεια να της πει για την Ιθάκη;

Στη δική μου Οδύσσεια
η Πηνελόπη φονεύει όλους τους μνηστήρες
μόνη της
τους ξαναβρίσκει επιβάτες στα τελευταία βαγόνια
άλλος μ' ένα τόξο στο κεφάλι
στην καρδιά μαχαίρι άλλος
ο τρίτος έχει ακουστικά στ' αυτιά

Κάθε μέρα στον Άδη ξεψυχάει
ένας τής δίνει εισιτήριο
χρησμός του Τειρεσία – ποιος ξέρει

Σκαιός ο κόσμος των νεκρών
κι αυτή πάντα σκιαγμένη

δεν είναι του Ομήρου η Οδύσσεια
είναι της Πηνελόπης

Επόμενη στάση: Πηνελόπης Οδύσσεια

* * * 


To put fragments of the soul
scared while you wait
at an obvious spot
to mince my own
to race me

If I take my heart pieces out
I lay them on the scales
with blood
your all-white soul
I'll stain
and all the shapes of pain
won' t end

In the end, let it be my end
let's win the most courageous
let's be
the one with the scales nailed on his guts
yet has a soul and keep walks
deep as he walks
on the scale of life
the same time while I as well
always tilted pro-

the loss of the game
Ι challenge you to psychostasis)


Η ψυχοστασία

Να βάλεις θραύσματα ψυχής
έντρομος ενώ περιμένεις
σε εμφανές σημείο
να κομματιάσω τη δική μου
να με παραβγείς

Της καρδιάς κομμάτια αν βγάλω
επάνω στη ζυγαριά τα αποθέσω
με το αίμα
την ολόλευκη ψυχή σου
θα λεκιάσω
κι όλα του πόνου τα σχήματα
δε θα' χουν τέλος

Στο τέλος, τέλος μου ας
κερδίσει ο πιο εμψυχωμένος
ας είν' αυτός
που με το ζύγι καρφωμένο στα σωθικά
έχει ψυχή και περπατά
αβυσσαλέα καθώς πορεύεται
στην πλάστιγγα ζωής
την ώρα που κι εγώ
πάντα γερμένη προ-

της χασούρας το παιχνίδι
σε προκαλώ σε ψυχοστασία)

The Poet

Penelope Zardouka is a poet and teacher of Ancient and Modern Greek language from Greece. She was born in a small village named Pyrgetos on the 3rd of June, 1986. She has studied Philosophy, Pedagogy and Phycology in Athens Greece. She has also lived and worked in Nicosia, Cyprus. Her first poetry book named "Eorin", has gained the first prize of Jean Moreas 2020 as an emerging poetry voice in greek language, a prize that she shared with Filia Kanellopoulou and her first poetry book "Ta mesa mou". She is member of the editorial team of the literature magazine "Mandragoras". She lives and works in Athens.


Η Πηνελόπη Ζαρδούκα γεννήθηκε στις 3 Ιουνίου του 1986 στον Πυργετό Λάρισας. Σπούδασε Φιλοσοφία, Παιδαγωγικά και Ψυχολογία στο ΕΚΠΑ (Εθνικό & Καποδιστριακό Παν/μιο Αθηνών) και έχει εργαστεί στη Λευκωσία και στην Αθήνα ως φιλόλογος ιδιωτικής εκπαίδευσης. Η πρώτη της ποιητική συλλογή με τίτλο «Αιωρείν» (εκδ. Θράκα 2019) απέσπασε το πρώτο βραβείο πρωτοεμφανιζόμενης ποιήτριας «Jean Moreas» για το έτος 2020, βραβείο που μοιράστηκε με την Φιλία Κανελλοπούλου και την ποιητική της συλλογή «Τα μέσα μου», εκδ. Οροπέδιο 2019. Είναι μέλος της συντακτικής ομάδας του περιοδικού «Μανδραγόρας». Ζει και εργάζεται στην Αθήνα.

Μαρία Τζιαούρη-Χίλμερ, ΓΡΑΜΜΗ ΑΝΑΜΕΣΑ ΜΑΣ - Παρουσ...
Dimos Chloptsioudis, Greece


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