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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Greek-Irish Literary Symposium

A Greek-Irish Literary Symposium will take place on Friday, 12 December 2008 at the Melina Merkouri Theatre, Ilion, Athens, with the participation of Greek poets Tassos Denegris, Nanos Valaoritis & Dimitris Lyacos and Irish poets Patrick Chapman, Kevin Higgins & Susan Millar DuMars. The symposium is sponsored by Culture Ireland, The Irish Embassy, Athens and The Office of the Mayor of Ilion. The symposium will also see the publication of Literary Ways 2: Greece – Ireland, in which poems by the participating Greek poets will be translated into English and poems by the three participating Irish poets will be translated into Greek. The poets will also read their work at the University of Athens at a reading organised by the Irish Embassy in Greece. For further details contact Dimtris Lyacos at or Caroline Phelan at

Tassos Denegris (Athens,1934) has published 7 collections of poetry and translated, among others, J.L.Borges, J.Cortasar ,O. Paz, John Dos Passos ,I. B. Singer. He has been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian. Fellow at the International Writing Programme (Iowa,1975), invited guest at the Cambridge Poetry Festival(1983),he has also given readings in Belgrade, New Delhi, Strasbourg, Tuebingen, Colombia, Peru, USA, Spain, Nottingham. Tassos Denegris’ collected poems “The Wildboar Speaks”, was recently published by Ypsilon/books.

Nanos Valaoritis: Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1921. He studied Classics and Law at the University of Athens, English literature at London University, and followed a course of Mycenean Grammar with Michel Lejeune at the “Ecoles des Hautes Etudes” of the Sorbonne. From 1944 – 1953, in London he translated and presented, Modernist Greek poets of the thirties for the first time in Cyril Connolly’s “Horizon” 1946 & translations for John Lehmann’s “New Writing” 1944-1948. He met T.S Eliot, Stephen Spender, W.H Auden, Dylan Thomas and worked for Louis MacNeice in the BBC. In 1954 he moved to Paris, met Andre Breton, and participated in the activities and meetings of his Surrealist group until 1960. He returned to Greece, in 1960 and edited the avantgarde review “Pali” 1963-1967. He left Greece again in 1968, after the Junta came to power in 1967. Taught “Creative Writing and Comparative Literature“ at San Francisco State University, returned to Paris and Greece in 1976-78 and resumed teaching at SFSU 1978 until his retirement in 1993. Co-edited in Greece the literary review “Synteleia” ( End of Time), with poet Andreas Pagoulatos. Wrote a number of books of poetic prose, a novella, and four novels - among them, ”My Afterlife Guaranteed” in English (City Lights 1990) and in Greek (1995). Divides his time between Greece, France and California. Married to American Surrealist painter Marie Wilson.

Dimitris Lyacos was born in Athens in 1966. He studied law at the University of Athens and philosophy at University College London. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, Nyctivoe, The First Death), written over the course of fifteen years, has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed extensively across Europe and the USA. A sound and sculpture installation of Nyctivoe opened in London and toured Europe in 2004-2005. A contemporary theatre-dance version of the same book was showing in Greece in 2006-2007. Lyacos’ work has been the subject of lectures and research at various universities, including Miami, Amsterdam, Trieste and Oxford. Various extracts from the trilogy have appeared in literary journals around the world. Z213: Exit will be published in Greece next spring by Ypsilon/books. For more information on the author visit

Patrick Chapman was born in 1968 and lives in Dublin, Ireland. His poetry collections are Jazztown (Raven Arts Press, 1991); The New Pornography (Salmon, 1996); Breaking Hearts and Traffic Lights (Salmon, 2007); and A Shopping Mall on Mars (BlazeVOX, 2008). He has also written a collection of stories, The Wow Signal (Bluechrome, 2007) and an audio drama, Doctor Who: Fear of the Daleks (Big Finish, 2007). He wrote the multi-award-winning film, Burning the Bed (2003), adapting from his own short story. The film starred Gina McKee and Aidan Gillen. In 2003, he won first prize for a story in the Cinescape Genre Literary Awards. In 2006, he and Philip Casey founded the Irish Literary Revival website. His New and Selected Poems is forthcoming from Salmon.