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 

Roman Kissiov, Bulgaria


Roman Kissiov, Bulgaria

The Poems


…You must have surely understood
by then what Ithacas mean.
C. Cavafy

I am Odysseus, too,
but unknown.
No one ever heard of me,
nobody knew about my shrewdness…

Because I never left Ithaca.

Never in my life did I meet
Cyclopes, Lastrygones and Sirens.
I did not build a Trojan Horse,
I was not famous for any feats…

Because I never left Ithaca.

No one ever knew about my braveness
and the power of my bow.
Even Penelope's love for me
has long cooled down…

Because I never left Ithaca.


Translated by Ralitsa Saramova



«…ήδη θα το κατάλαβες
η Ιθάκες τι σημαίνουν».
Κ. Καβάφης
Κι εγώ είμαι Οδυσσέας,
αλλά άσημος.
Για μένα κανένας τίποτα δεν άκουσε
και κανείς δεν κατάλαβε την πονηριά μου…

Γιατί ποτέ την Ιθάκη δεν άφησα.

Στη ζωή μου δεν συνάντησα ούτε μια φορά
Κύκλωπες, Λαιστρυγόνες και Σειρήνες.
Δούρειο ίππο δεν έχτισα
και με άθλους δεν απέκτησα φήμη.

Γιατί ποτέ την Ιθάκη δεν άφησα.

Για τη δύναμη του τόξου μου και το θάρρος μου
κανείς δεν έμαθε.
Ακόμη κι η αγάπη της Πηνελόπης
για μένα από καιρό πάγωσε…

Γιατί την Ιθάκη δεν άφησα.

(Μετάφραση: Μαρία Μπουρμά)



…навярно вече си разбрал
Итаките що значат.
К. Кавафис

И аз съм Одисей,
но неизвестен.
За мене никой нищичко не чу
и никой не разбра за хитростта ми…

Защото никога Итака не напуснах.

В живота си не срещнах ни веднъж
циклопи, ластригони и сирени.
Троянски кон не построих
и с подвизи не се прочух…

Защото никога Итака не напуснах.

За силата на моя лък и смелостта ми
никой не узна.
Дори и Пенелопа в любовта си
към мен отдавна охладня…

Защото никога Итака не напуснах.


* * * 


My dear,
I am writing to you again.

You ask me what I'm working on.
How can I put it – I'm trying
to close words into ideas and meanings…
You ask me where I live.
How can I explain – while trying
to close the words, eventually
it turns out the words have closed me.
The prison of words – that is my address.
You can drop by, if you like.
There's no visiting day here.
I feel well altogether, the conditions are great –
no bars on the windows,
no supervisors at the doors…
The doors, the heavy iron doors
are always open…

Surely you'd like to know
if I have a life sentence.
Then you should know that here
there is no death at all.

Translated by Ralitsa Saramova



отново сядам да ти пиша.

Питаш ме какво работя.
Как да ти кажа – опитвам се
да затварям думите в идеи и значения…
Питаш ме къде живея.
Как да ти кажа – опитвайки се
да затварям думите, в крайна сметка
се оказва, че думите са ме затворили.
Затворът на думите – това е моят адрес.
Можеш да наминеш, ако искаш.
Тук няма ден, определен за свиждане.
Иначе съм добре, условията са чудесни –
на прозорците няма решетки,
няма надзиратели пред вратите…
А вратите, железните тежки врати
са винаги разтворени…

Сигурно желаеш да узнаеш
дали е доживотна моята присъда.
Тогава знай, че тука смърт
въобще не съществува.

The Poet

Roman Kissiov was born in 1962 in the town of Kazanlak, Bulgaria. Poet, translator of poetry, artist. He graduated in painting from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. He lives and works in Sofia. Poems by Roman Kissiov have been published in almost all Bulgarian literary editions, they have been broadcast over the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio. His works have been included in poetry anthologies in Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Armenia, Jordan, India, and in the international anthology of English POETS FOR WORLD PEACE (Switzerland, Canada, 2011). His poems have been translated and published in 22 languages. He is the author of 9 poetry books in his homeland and 7 books in other languages in different countries. Roman Kissiov has taken part in many international poetry festivals.

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