Patras World Poetry Festival

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DECEMBER 10th - 13th  2020 

We would like to inform you that due to the implementation of a new lockdown in our country and the increase in the number of coronavirus cases, the organizing and scientific committee of the “Jean Moréas International Awards” and the Patras International Poetry Festival postpones the date of the event on December, 10-13 of 2020.

Digital Event

The Patras World Poetry Festival 2020 this year is entitled "National Poets" and plans to host 60 poets from 15 different countries around the world.

This year the festival  be held online and virtually, as far as COVID-19 impact affects significantly the implementation of this event.

In the four-day online event there will be 6 meetings lasting up to 3 hours, where the guest poets will be presented with readings in 2 languages, via live connection. The events will be attended by invited representatives of institutions and the jury, while the program will include speeches, presentations, tributes, music, etc.

In addition, the following activities will take place within the schedule of the Festival events:

  • online Award of the annual Greek Poetry Awards "Jean Moréas" (Saturday December 12th)
  • Art Exhibition "National Poets" with the participation of 20 Greek artists and 10 artists from different countries (live and digital tour)
  • Collectible trilingual edition of the poems of the participants, in the first language of each artist, in Greek and English

The 3rd Patras World Poetry Festival 2020 is organized by the Poetry Fountation “Grafeion Poiiseos”, the literary website Culture Book ( and the multicultural center Epikentro Plus History & Arts, while every year it is under the auspices of the Ministries of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism*. Supporters of the event are the Greek Library of London, the Cultural Center “Kostis Palamas”, the University of Western Macedonia, the Hellenic Open University and many other important institutions, as claimed under the Aegis of the President of the Hellenic Republic.

Awarding of Poetry Awards "Jean Moréas" for the year 2019

This annual event will be held digitally at one session of the PWPF Poetry Event 2020, with a presentation of the award-winning poets and recitations by them. This is the annual event during which the "Jean Moréas" Prizes are awarded for Greek poetic art and Greek poetic production in its entire range. They are recognizable nationwide and concern the poetry collections that were published throughout the previous calendar year from the year of the award. They refer both to young poets and newcomers and to those who are recognized with their poetic work along time.

The event is highly appreciated by the Greek literary and artistic circle of readers. In this year's event, in addition to the institutionalized awards, a very important foreign poet will be honored, who with his/her lifelong work honors the literature outside Greece.The Award Committee is composed of Greek University professors, as well as very important poets and poetry critics who will evaluate the work of the honorees.


On behalf of the organizing committee.

Kotopoulos H. Triantafyllos, President of the “Patras World Poetry Festival”

Skiathas D. Antonis, President of the Poetry Fountation “Grafeion Poiiseos”

Alaniadi Maria, Event Manager of the “Patras World Poetry Festival”

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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