GREEK WRITERS IN ENGLISH Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Kiki Dimoula, Jenny Mastoraki and Niki Marangou
GREEK WRITERS IN ENGLISH
A series of online talks in English, organised by The Hellenic Centre and The Society for Modern Greek Studies every Wednesday at 7pm (UK time) from 10 February until 3 March.
The series will present four women writers from Greece and Cyprus: Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Kiki Dimoula, Jenny Mastoraki and Niki Marangou. The first lecture of the series was initially presented in the Summer of 2020.
To obtain the links for the talks please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or register for each separate lecture via Eventbrite using the links below:
Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke (1939-2020) is one of Greece’s leading female poetic voices with a work that spans over thirty years. She is also a linguist and an acclaimed translator. Her work is widely read in Greece and it has also received official recognition: it has been awarded the Greek National Poetry Prize in 1985 and the Greek Academy’s Poetry Prize in 2000. Although Anghelaki-Rooke lived in Athens it is the island of Aegina, where she spent her summers as a child and where she returned throughout her life, that holds a special place in her heart. The beautiful family home with its orchard of pistachio trees was a heaven of inspiration and a writing retreat. The body, myth and nature but above all language and its ability to convey emotions and experiences are central features of Anghelaki-Rooke’s poetry. This video presentation offers an introduction to her life and key themes of her work.
Liana Giannakopoulou teaches Modern Greek Literature in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics of the University of Cambridge. She is the author of The Power of Pygmalion. Ancient Greek Sculpture in Modern Greek Poetry (Peter Lang 2007) and of The Parthenon in Poetry. An Anthology (in Greek, ELIA 2009). She has also co-edited Culture and Society in Crete. From Kornaros to Kazantzakis (Cambridge Scholars 2017), a selection of papers presented at an international conference held in Cambridge. She is the current Chair of the Society for Modern Greek Studies.
Kiki Dimoula (1931-2020) was a Greek poet and member of the Academy of Athens. Her reputation had been firmly established by the 1960s and she received many awards, such as
the Greek State Prize twice, the Grand State Prize, the Ouranis Prize, as well as the European Prize for Literature. She published her first poem, “Shadow” in 1950 in the literary magazine Nea Estia, by her father’s name, Kiki Radou. From 1956 until 2016 she wrote and published fourteen poetic collections. Many of her poems have been translated in foreign languages such as English, French, German, Danish, Swedish. Kiki Dimoula’s poetry is a representable case of the elegiac tonality that characterizes Greek post-war poetry. The questioning and the anxiety caused by the inevitable of death are expressed in her poetry by the poetics of the ephemeral body and are the dominant motives of her writing since early production and the collection of Erebus (1956). The degradation of the death rituals, the contradiction of body and soul, the frustration of the erotic experience and feelings, the dominance of grief and melancholy, the topography of decay, the catalytic influence of time, the rejection of the soteriological dimension of the Christian myth, the appropriation of the ancient Greek myth, are some of the thematic motives that distinguish the poetics of Kiki Dimoula and the elegiac tonality of her poetry. The existential questioning is deepened in her dialogue with the arts of photography and sculpture. These motives are expressed by the poetics of death where repetition, ellipsis, opposites such as hope-despair, existence-inexistence, metonymy, metaphor and irony play a major role. Also, nominalizations, adjectivizations and neologisms are important stylistic mannerisms of Kiki Dimoula.
Despoina Papastathi teaches Modern Greek Literature at the Department of Philology of the University of Ioannina, Greece. Her research interests focus on Greek literature of the 20th and 21st century, on poetic genres such as elegy, fiction-elegy, crime fiction, on the relation of literature with other arts such as photography, painting, sculpture. Dr Papastathi’s research articles have been published in scholarly journals and she has taken part in many conferences. She is the author of Κική Δημουλά «aχθοφόρος μελαγχολίας». Ποίηση και ποιητική του πένθους, Gutenberg, Athens 2018.
Jenny Mastoraki was a leading poetic voice of the 1970s and '80s but then stopped publishing poetry, apparently to focus on her work as a literary translator. A student at the time of the 1967 coup, she first began publishing poetry in anthologies that were subject to censorship. Thereafter, she has exercised a strict control over biographical information and translations of her work. This talk will focus on Mastoraki's four slim volumes of poetry, with illustrative readings.
Sarah Ekdawi is a Faculty Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and the Reviews Editor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. She is a graduate of King's College London, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Oxford, where she gained her D.Phil in 1991, with a thesis entitled 'The Poetic Practice of Anghelos Sikelianos'. She was later awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Queen's University of Belfast, where she was also a visiting lecturer for several years. Ekdawi's publications include studies of Cavafy, Sikelianos, Ritsos, sixteenth century Cypriot sonnets and the Byzantine heroic romance of Digenis Akrites. She is also a qualified technical translator and practising literary translator. In May 2019, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in English Teaching by MCU Thailand, where she is also a visiting professor.
Niki Marangou (1948-2013) is one of the most important Cypriot artists and a leading female voice. She has written poems, novels and short stories, and her poetry has been awarded the Cavafy Prize (1998) and the Athens Academy Award (2007). She is also an acclaimed painter having exhibited her work in various galleries in Cyprus. She has participated in two international exhibitions: the Biennale of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana (1993) and the sixth Biennale of Cairo (1996). She owned the bookshop Kochlias in Nicosia from 1980 to 2007. This this video presentation introduces you to her life and work and focuses on important themes of her poetry and prose exploring at the same time how they may be related to various paintings and photographs that accompany her stories.
Dr Liana Giannakopoulou teaches Modern Greek Literature in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics of the University of Cambridge. She is the author of The Power of Pygmalion. Ancient Greek Sculpture in Modern Greek Poetry (Peter Lang 2007) and of The Parthenon in Poetry. An Anthology (in Greek, ELIA 2009). She has also co-edited Culture and Society in Crete. From Kornaros to Kazantzakis (Cambridge Scholars 2017), a selection of papers presented at an international conference held in Cambridge. She is the current Chair of the Society for Modern Greek Studies.
Society for Modern Greek Studies
The Society for Modern Greek Studies exists to promote teaching and research in Modern Greek Studies throughout the United Kingdom. It organizes regular events, disseminates information, and collaborates with other related institutions and organizations. Its online journal Modern Greek Studies Online began publication in 2015. The Society also acts as the UK national body representing our subject and is affiliated to the European Society of Modern Greek Studies.
The Hellenic Centre
The Hellenic Centre, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2019, is a vibrant cultural hub in the heart of London, situated in a beautiful five-storey Portland stone listed building of the early 1900s. It is a platform for all aspects of Hellenism and many kinds of cultural cooperation and exchanges. Its mission is to promote an awareness and appreciation of Hellenic culture for Greeks and non-Greeks alike, bring together Hellenes in the diaspora and provide a ‘home’ for the cultural activities of the Greek and Greek Cypriot cultural organisations and societies in London. The Centre’s rich cultural programme includes theatre performances, film screenings, discussions, readings, presentations, a great variety of musical events including opera, classical and modern music, a wide range of photograph or painting exhibitions and lectures by distinguished speakers, most of them free to the public, as well as Modern Greek Language courses to adults. The Centre is a charitable, non-political, non-governmental, self-funded organisation and relies on the support of its members and friends and on income generated by hiring out the venue. New members and donations are always welcome as they sustain the Centre into the future and enable it to continue providing high quality cultural, educational and fun events for a diverse audience.