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”

Luis García Montero, Spain


 Luis García Montero, Spain

The Poems

The love

Words are ships
and so are lost, from one mouth to another,
as if from one mist to another.
They carry their cargo in discussions
without finding a dock,
the night when they're weighed down like an anchor.

They must get used to aging
and living with the patience of wood
worn by the waves,
to decompose gradually, to erode slowly,
until the sea reaches the
familiar hold and sinks them.

For life enters words
like the sea does to a ship,
covers with time the names of things
and transfers into the root of an adjective
the sky of a calendar date,
the balcony of a home,
the light of a city reflected on a river.

That's why, mist by mist,
when love invades words,
it bangs on their walls, marks on them
sings of a personal history
and leaves in the past of vocabularies
sensations of cold and hot,
nights that are the night,
seas that are the sea,
walks solitary that become a phrase
and stopped trains and songs.

If love, like all things, is a matter of words,
to draw near your body was to create a language.

Translation (Greek to English): Manos Apostolidis


Ο έρωτας

Οι λέξεις είναι πλοία
κι έτσι χάνονται, από στόμα σε στόμα,
σαν απ' ομίχλη σ' ομίχλη.
Μεταφέρουν το φορτίο τους στις συζητήσεις
δίχως να βρίσκουν λιμάνι,
τη νύχτα που τις βαραίνει όπως η άγκυρα.

Πρέπει να συνηθίσουν να γερνάνε
και να ζουν με υπομονή ξύλου
φαγωμένου απ' τα κύματα,
ν´ αποσυντίθενται σιγά-σιγά, να φθείρονται αργά,
μέχρι να φτάσει η θάλασσα
στo γνώριμο αμπάρι και να τις βυθίσει.

Γιατί η ζωή μπαίνει στις λέξεις
όπως η θάλασσα στο πλοίο,
σκεπάζει με χρόνο τ' όνομα των πραγμάτων
και μεταφέρει στη ρίζα ενός επίθετου
τον ουρανό μιας χρονολογίας,
το μπαλκόνι ενός σπιτιού,
το φως μιας πόλης που καθρεφτίζεται σ' ένα ποτάμι.

Γι' αυτό, ομίχλη την ομίχλη,
όταν ο έρωτας εισβάλλει στις λέξεις,
χτυπά τους τοίχους τους, χαράζει σ' αυτούς
τα σημάδια μιας προσωπικής ιστορίας
κι αφήνει στο παρελθόν των λεξιλογίων
αισθήσεις κρύου και ζέστης,
νύχτες που είναι η νύχτα,
θάλασσες που είναι η θάλασσα,
βόλτες μοναχικές που γίνονται φράση
και σταματημένα τρένα και τραγούδια.

Αν ο έρωτας, όπως όλα, είναι ζήτημα λέξεων,
το πλησίασμα στο κορμί σου ήταν δημιουργία μιας γλώσσας.

Translation (Spanish to Greek): Chrysoula Ksenou


El amor

Las palabras son barcos
y se pierden así, de boca en boca,
como de niebla en niebla.
Llevan su mercancía por las conversaciones
sin encontrar un puerto,
la noche que les pese igual que un ancla.

Deben acostumbrarse a envejecer
y vivir con paciencia de madera
usada por las olas,
irse descomponiendo, dañarse lentamente,
hasta que a la bodega rutinaria
llegue el mar y las hunda.

Porque la vida entra en las palabras
como el mar en un barco,
cubre de tiempo el nombre de las cosas
y lleva a la raíz de un adjetivo
el cielo de una fecha,
el balcón de una casa,
la luz de una ciudad reflejada en un río.

Por eso, niebla a niebla,
cuando el amor invade las palabras,
golpea sus paredes, marca en ellas
los signos de una historia personal
y deja en el pasado de los vocabularios
sensaciones de frío y de calor,
noches que son la noche,
mares que son el mar,
solitarios paseos con extensión de frase
y trenes detenidos y canciones.

Si el amor, como todo, es cuestión de palabras,
acercarme a tu cuerpo fue crear un idioma.

* * * 

Bitter Song

On his face he bears
three lost years
and the cold of six in the morn.

They'll tear your heart apart.
the light is out,
the corridors blurry,
the door that stabs its clang in your back.

They'll tear his heart apart.
And he drags
a dusky chain
of frozen passions,
that cold which only fits
behind one word.

And I watch her walk,
losing herself as she's walking,
a fugitive sorrow that comes and goes
from the shadow to the door of my home.

The artificial light leaves on the street
the silent shivering
of three boats anchored.

When she walks past me I feel
something like the beating of oars
and a murmuring of water.

From: Las flores del frío
(The flowers of cold)

Translation (Greek to English): Manos Apostolidis


Πικρό τραγούδι

Στο πρόσωπο κουβαλά
τρία χαμένα χρόνια
και την παγωνιά στις έξι το πρωί.

Θα σου σκίσουν την καρδιά.
το φως σβηστό,
οι διάδρομοι θολοί,
η πόρτα που καρφώνει το θόρυβό της στην πλάτη.

Θα του σκίσουν την καρδιά.
Και σέρνει
μια σκοτεινή αλυσίδα
παγωμένων παθών,
αυτό το κρύο που χωρά μονάχα
πίσω από μια λέξη.

Κι εγώ τη βλέπω να περπατά,
να χάνεται εκεί που περπατά,
φευγάτη θλίψη που πάει κι έρχεται
απ' τη σκιά στην πόρτα του σπιτιού μου.

Το τεχνητό φως αφήνει στο δρόμο
το σιωπηλό τρεμούλιασμα
από τρεις αγκυροβολημένες βάρκες.

όταν εκείνη περνάει πλάι μου αισθάνομαι
ένα χτύπημα λες κουπιών
και τον παφλασμό του νερού.

Translation (Spanish to Greek): Chrysoula Ksenou


Canción amarga

En la cara lleva
tres años perdidos
y el frío de las seis de la mañana.

Van a partirte el corazón.
De pronto
la luz apagada,
los pasillos turbios,
la puerta que clava su ruido en la espalda.

Van a partirle el corazón.
Y arrastra
una cadena oscura
de pasiones heladas,
ese frío que cabe solamente
detrás de una palabra.

Y yo la veo caminar,
perderse en lo que anda,
fugitiva tristeza que va y viene
de la sombra a la puerta de mi casa.

La luz artificial deja en la calle
el temblor silencioso
de tres barcas ancladas.

cuando ella cruza por mi lado siento
como un golpe de remos
y un murmullo de agua.

De: Las flores del frío

The Poet

Luis García Montero (Granada, 1958) is a Spanish poet and literary critic, essayist, professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Granada. He belongs to the generation of the 1980s or post-novels within the current called poetry of experience. Director of the Instituto Cervantes since 2018.
He has published 14 collections of poems, 8 books of essays and 6 of narrative. Among many others, he has received the Adonais Prize for Poetry (1982), the Loewe Prize (1994), the National Critics Award (2003), the Andalusia Critics Award (2009) and the Federico García Lorca Award (2008).

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