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”

Zita Izsó, Hungary


Zita Izsó, Hungary

The Poems

As the Offspring of the Cichlids

I mostly remember the snow.
We elbowed on the windowsill,
staring at the infinite whiteness
when the soldiers broke the door in.
I had just enough time
to drag my little sister to the pantry.
While we were hiding
each breath hurt as if a
bayonet was stabbing me.
I worried that it could pierce between my ribs.
Then it was over.
They'll find us, my little sister screamed.
I squeezed my eyes shut so as
not to see what they would do to her.
It's said that in the greatest need
one can hear God's voice.
Perhaps you don't speak, my Lord,
because you don't carry us
in the palm of your hand, but in your mouth,
the way cichlids carry their offspring.
The soldiers dragged me out to the garden,
spread my legs.
stuffed snow in my mouth to stifle my weird,
prolonged scream. At first I didn't
know it came from me. I thought
a rat got stuck between
the insulation and the roof, squealing,
struck its head until it was bloody and stuck.
But when the soldiers stuffed my mouth with snow
I realized the sound came from me.
The snow melted,
the slush dripping down my throat.
It tasted like the falling snow
my little sister and
I caught on our tongues.
Since the war began
nothing tastes the same,
not my mother's soup,
not my granny's sponge cake.
But the taste of snow didn't change at all.
My mother said God carries us
in the palm of His hand,
not in His mouth.
Lying on the cold ground,
I am thinking of the warmth of your palm, my Lord.
When the soldiers finished, they stood up,
said nothing, remained silent.
The mountains drill the sky
the way teeth bite the lips
of a man suppressing a cry.

(Translated by Gábor Gyukics)

* * * 


For an instant after waking
you don't recall what gravitation is.

But soon enough you recognize
the worn furniture
in the dim light,

and then remember
that Julius Caesar's soldiers
burned the Great Library of Alexandria,
and man in the rock-cut tomb had been dead
for three days already.

You are as lonely
as if you were alone in the Garden of Eden.
In vain you've improved much.
In vain you have developed good qualities,
but if no one is there to acknowledge them,

you feel like
a plant
which became extinct
before it was discovered.

It would feel good if someone would be happy for you.
You imagine an alien whose face lies like a politcian's
when he smiles at the year's first newborns.

When you get up,
you won't be waiting for His Creation any longer.
You recreate yourself each morning
using whatever substance is handy,
though you haven't looked in the mirror for weeks
so you don't know how you look.

You sit up.
It sounds as if someone is
crying behind the walls,
but it's only in your head.
It's hard to accept
that everything that exists is
with you in this room.

(Translated by Gábor Gyukics)

The Poet

Zita Izsó was born in Budapest in 1986. Her first poetry collection, Tengerlakó (Sea Dweller), won the Gérecz Attila Prize for the Year's Best Debut Novel in 2012. With her first drama, she won the Hungarian Radio Playwriting Contest. Her second poetry collection, Színről színre (Face to face), was published in 2014. Since 2015, she and the Hungarian photographer Máté Bach have run The Pest Woman blog. In 2017, they published a book of collected interviews from the blog under the same title. Zita's poems have been translated into English, German, Arabic, Turkish, Czech, Polish, Serbian, Slovak, Romanian, Greek and Bulgarian. She published her third poetry collection in 2018 under the title Éjszakai földet érés (Nighttime Landing). She is one of the editors of the – World Literature Magazine. She translates English, German, French, and Spanish writers. Her fourth poetry collection will be published this autumn.

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