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Eminent Greek Authors Digitised

Tributes in the form of cultural events and publications prepared over the last few years by the National Book Centre to commemorate birth or death anniversaries of eminent Greek writers now take a permanent place in the Centre’s digital archive.
Authors such as Stratis Tsirkas and M. Karagatsis, as well as poets like Nikos Kavvadias have their own website in the progressively increasing Book Centre’s electronic archive of Modern Greek literature. The latest addition bears the name of poet Yiannis Ritsos, whose 100-year birth anniversary was observed in 2009.
National Book Center: Modern Authors Archives in Greek
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece at Frankfurt Book Fair

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) At the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2009, which took place from October 15 to 19, author Ioanna Karistiani greeted her loyal fans and Soti Triandafyllou presented her “Chinese boxes” from Suhrkamp Verlag.  The same company recently published Yiannis Ritsos’ book “Monemvassia” translated by Klaus Peter Wedekind, on the occasion of the centenary of the poet’s birth.  A noteworthy initiative of the German branch of Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Berlin is the publication of a booklet presenting Greek writers who attract the interest of German readers and publishers.

Greece’s Press & Communication Offices Abroad

• Greece’s image abroad

gge1(1)(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Wishing to promote Greece’s image abroad, the Hellenic Press and Communication Offices abroad often hold events which highlight the country’s cultural aspect.  Be it an educative seminar, a music concert, or an artistic workshop, the idea behind the events is to bring foreign publics closer to the Hellenic spirit and contemporary lifestyle.  Secretariat General of Information: Hellenic Press and Communication Offices abroad- Directory & Events organised by the Press and Communication Offices abroad  

• Aegean Seminar in Zagreb 

Honouring a three-year long cooperation between the Department of Archaeology of the University of Zagreb and Greek Embassy Press and Communication Office in Zagreb, another Aegean Seminar –the final one- was held last month in Zagreb, Croatia (June 2).  The Seminar was scheduled to conclude with the 12th lecture on “Classical Greeks’ everyday life,” delivered by Barry Powell, Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Professor Powell is one of world’s leading experts in Homeric studies and the origin of the Greek alphabet.  The seminars were given in an effort to promote the study of Greek archaeology at both the University of Zagreb and Croatia in general. Foundation of the Hellenic World: Classical Period; Ministry of Culture: Odysseus

• Theatrical Performance in Warsaw

theatriko-flyerOn June 25th, Kamienica Theatre in Warsaw presented “To Gala” (The Milk), a play written by Vassilis Katsikonouris and directed by Sebastian Chondrokostas, a second generation Greek who was born and raised in Poland.  The play tells the story of an immigrant family relocated in Greece from Georgia, struggling between two worlds in order to make a living in the “new homeland”.  “To Gala” is the first Greek contemporary play performed by Polish actors in Poland and the initiative of this acquaintance of the polish public with the Greek contemporary theatre received the support of the Greek Embassy  Press and Communication Office in Warsaw.   Secretariat General of Information: About Greece- Tracing the Artistic and Cultural Map in Contemporary Greece & Greek Theatre Tradition  

• Commemorating Poet Ritsos in Tirana

On June 17th, the Greek Embassy Press and Communication Office in Tirana, in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation of Culture Tirana Centre, the National Theatre of Albania and Greece’s National Book Centre organised a commemorative event marking 100 years since the birth of poet Ritsos.  Students from the Arsakeion School in Tirana and the National Academy of Arts in Tirana participated in the event.  Greek News Agenda: 2009 Dedicated To Yiannis Ritsos

2009 Dedicated to the Poet Yiannis Ritsos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Yiannis Ritsos -together with Kostis Palamas, Giorgos Seferis, and Odysseus Elytis have marked contemporary Greek poetry- and has been among the country’s most widely translated poets. A prolific writer – many of his poems, like Epitaphios and Romiosyni were set to music by renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis. 
Born on May 1st, 1909 in Monemvasia, Lakonia, to landowners, Yiannis Ritsos was often persecuted for his left-wing politics. That combined with the tribulations of his personal and family life (death of his mother and elder brother, his father’s commitment to a mental institution, his own struggle with tuberculosis since 1926) inspired his poetry and led him to receive many distinctions in Greece and abroad. He was awarded the Lenin Prize for Peace in 1977 and the 1956 State Poetry Award for his work “Moonlight Sonata” and was also nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1968. He died on November 11, 1990.

♦ Marking the Centenary of the Poet’s Birth

In order to bolster research and disseminate the work of Greek authors and bring them closer to the general public, the Ministry of Culture and the National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI) launched, some years ago, the initiative of commemorating one literary figure every year. This year, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Yiannis Ritsos the two institutions have planned a series of commemorative events such as the publication of a special volume dedicated to the life and work of the poet, the creation of a special website with extensive information on the poet, the preparation of a mobile exhibition which will travel around Greece and abroad, as well as the release of 12 commemorative telephone cards in collaboration with Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE). Also, since March 21, EKEBI has released a series of small-size posters on the Athens tram and metro.

Monemvasia to Honour Poet

A much-anticipated exhibition to take place at the medieval fortress of Monemvasia this summer will mark one of the artist’s lesser known talents. “Ritsos the Artist” will be inaugurated by the French ambassador in Greece, Christophe Farnaud, on July 4 at the restored Agios Nikolaos Church, once the elementary school where Ritsos studied. Apart from some personal items, the show will mainly consist of watercolours, ceramics, and reed roots painted by Ritsos. Running through to August 4, the Ritsos exhibit is one of many events put together by the Monemvasia municipality and the show’s artistic director, composer Pigi Likoudi, to mark the centenary of Ritsos’ birth. [Programme of events in Monemvasia (in Greek)

Monemvasia, a Jewel in the Myrtoan Sea

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Located in the southeastern Peloponnese in the prefecture of Laconiaa, Monemvasia is a castle-city of unique beauty, standing on a rock in the Myrtoan Sea.  Homeland of Yiannis Ritsos, Monemvasia takes its name from a narrow piece of land (“the bridge”), which joins the rock of Monemvasia with the mainland, creating thus the one and the only entrance to it. Within its castle, there is a whole medieval city, living on the rhythm of today, but with a magical ambience of the past.   Just like it is about to break the bond with the earth and set sail in the blue sea, Monemvasia enchants every visitor with its unbeatable combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage. 

Greece: Book Presentations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Denis Guedj :    Professor of History of Science at Paris VIII University Denis Guedj is known as a successful novelist of many books inspired by the ‘art’ of mathematics. His best seller “The Parrot’s Theorem” was translated in 20 languages and paved the way for the ‘mathematical fiction’ trend. His work enticed many others to follow his example in an equally original way. Greek writer Apostolos Doxiadis is one of the novelists who experimented on the narrative possibilities offered by mathematics. The Greek audience has the chance to meet Guedj who is in Athens for two lectures, one delivered yesterday at the Athens Concert Hall on ‘Science and Literature’ and another one at the French Institute of Thessaloniki today.    Continue reading