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Irish and Greek Symposium Dec. 2015




December 4 & 5, 2015

Dec. 4, Friday

academic session on poetry & landscapes

9:00-14:30 : academic session (British School at Athens, Upper House, 52 Soudias St.)
9:00 – welcoming addresses:
H.E. The Ambassador of Ireland to the Hellenic Republic, Noel Kilkenny
Director of the British School at Athens, Prof. John Bennet
Harry Clifton (poet, former Ireland Professor of Poetry)
"Reacting to Yeats"
(lecture marking the Yeats Year)
Prof. William Schultz (University of Athens) 
“Heaney’s Re-coloring of Wordsworth’s Imagination”
Prof. David Ricks (King's College, London) 
Rus in urbe? The Poetry of Tellos Agras”
Caitriona O’Reilly (poet, former editor of Poetry Ireland Review
“Poetry and the Wilderness”
11:30-12:00 Coffee break
Dr. Leontia Flynn (poet, Queen’s University Belfast) 
“Poetry and Technology”
Prof. Jerzy Jarniewicz (poet, University of Lodz) 
“’A green leaf of language’: Female Speakers in the Poetry of Eilean ni Chuilleanain and Nuala ni Dhomhnaill”
Dr. Rowena Fowler (independent scholar, formerly University of Bristol) 
“Starlight and Electric Light: Seamus Heaney’s Greece”
Dr. Joanna Kruczkowska (University of Athens / University of Lodz) 
“Irish poets on Paros: Desmond O’Grady, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley”
Yiorgos Chouliaras (poet, diplomat)
“Greece, Ireland, Poetry: A Single Topic in Three Words?”
Moderator: Dr. Mina Karavanta (University of Athens)


Source: http://www.irellas.com/#!artb_25


Poetry evening with the Greek poets


Haris Vlavianos, Liana Sakelliou, Anna Griva, Yiorgos Chouliaras, Maro Germanou

18:00-21:00 : Greek poetry reading (British School at Athens, Upper House, 52 Soudias St.) 

Welcoming address: Dean of the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens, Prof. Eleni Karamalengou

Haris Vlavianos
Anna Griva
Liana Sakelliou 
Nasos Vayenas (cancelled)
Yiorgos Chouliaras
                                Yiorgos Chouliaras
                                                                     Reading his last poem first
English translations of the Greek poems
(including Mina Karavanta's translations of Haris Vlavianos)
Moderator: Prof. Maro Germanou (University of Athens)


Source: http://www.irellas.com/#!artb_26


Dec 5, Saturday

10:00-11:30: round table discussion about the connection between Greece and Ireland (IIHSA, 51a Notara St.)



“Ireland and Greece: Landscape, Poetry, History”
Symposium participants: Irish, Greek, British, Polish and American poets and scholars, the public 
Moderator: Dr. Joanna Kruczkowska (University of Athens / University of Lodz)

It is always risky to compare two nations which are determined in the imagination of themselves not only by their literary and poetic traditions, but also by their politics and consequently by their 'fate' in history.

Theo Dorgan articulated well the fact that any reference to Irish poets must comprehend the duality of English and Gaelic speaking and writing poets. In that sense, the Gaelic ones see it as their special mission to prevent the language from dying out or in being neglected. There is the common experience as Stephania Mos would explain that you grow up in Ireland and experience the Gaelic language being taught but always under extra ordinary circumstances. It is like Descartes in French schools. Once the pupils leave, many of them discard that part, indeed wish never to hear again Descartes.   

The relationship of poets is precarious at both the best and worst times. Yiorgos Chouliaras posed during the Yeats celebration held earlier in Athens the question, what mistakes were made by poets like Erza Pound endorsing Mussolonini, Eliot joining the Christian Right, and Yeats becoming a Nationalist with dangerous implications and similarities with National Socialism in Germany, and what mitakes are contemporary poets about to make in the 21st century?

Paul Meehan recalls what she said already back in 1995 when the Phaistos discussion took place, namelythe first word she got to know was 'doulia' - work. At first, so it seems according to her own account, that she had no real notion of Greece. She came as a young student to do vacations in Corfu. Little was she aware of the military junta which had seized power in 1967. Later on she revealed whenever she goes to Ikaria, there she experiences a sort of healing made possible by swimming late at night at a spot where hot springs enter the sea.


11:30-12:00  Coffee break
              Catering service



12:00-16:00 : poetry workshops (IIHSA, 51a Notara St.) 
12:00-13:00 Paula Meehan
13:00-14:00 Theo Dorgan
14:00-15:00 Haris Vlavianos


When walking back home along Alexandrou Avenue, the screams coming from a wall tainted in red could be heard loud and clear. It is said due to the crisis Greece has been going through, one out of every two persons suffers under strain to the personal psyche. The soul of the people has been hurt quite a lot. In affinity to that, it is unfortunate, but many of these screams go unheard. The traffic noise alone can drown them out.


     Graffiti on Alexandrous Avenue 5.12.2015                                   @hf


18:00-21:00 : Irish poetry reading and music (British School at Athens, Upper House, 52 Soudias St.)

Attended by H.E. The Ambassador of Ireland to the Hellenic Republic, Noel Kilkenny    
Harry Clifton (former Ireland Professor of Poetry) 
Theo Dorgan 
Theo Dorgan talking to Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, in the background Paula Meehan with Dino Siotis


Leontia Flynn 
Paula Meehan (Ireland Professor of Poetry) 
Caitriona O’Reilly 


Poetry evening with Irish poets

Greek translations of the Irish poems:

Nelly Bouradani: Caitriona O’Reilly, Harry Clifton;

Nicolas Gogos: Caitriona O’Reilly;

Artemis Griva: Leontia Flynn;

Marcia Israelides: Harry Clifton;

Socrates Kabouropoulos: Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Harry Clifton 

Moderator: Dr. Anna Despotopoulou (University of Athens)
Prof. Fran O’Rourke (University College Dublin) 
Traditional songs associated with the work of W. B. Yeats and James Joyce


Source: http://www.irellas.com/#!artb_27



Anna Arvanitaki, Socrates Kabouropoulos, Caitriona O'Reilly, Yiorgos Chouliaras, Stephania Mos, Harry Clifton (from left to right)

Yiorgos Chouliaras, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Bill Schulz, Liana Sakelliou, (unknown), Leontia Flynn, Caitriona O'Reilly, Hatto Fischer (from left to right)




It was hoped that the bringing together of poets closely related to the great poetic and lyrical traditions in both Greece and Ireland will stimulate and broaden the understanding of both countries, their nature and their literary reflections. 

 Paula Meehan, Liana Sakelliou, Leontia Flynn


Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, Socrates Kabouropoulos

Some of the poets had participated in "Myth of the City" held in Crete 1995, or else met there, for example, Socrates Kabouropoulos, who went on to tranlate Paula Meehan and Theo Dorgan. Others who were presented then and now were Liana Sakelliou and Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, as well as Anna Arvanitaki who organised together with Hatto Fischer that discussion between poets and architects, city planners, philosophers etc. about living conditions in cities.

See http://poieinkaiprattein.org/poetry/poiein-kai-prattein-and-the-poets/poets-and-myth-of-europe-1994/


Venues on Friday & Saturday

British School at Athens (BSA), 52 Souidias St

Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens (IIHSA), 51a Notara St

[in Greek]

Το Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών & το Πανεπιστήμιο του Lodz βρίσκονται στην ευχάριστη θέση να ανακοινώσουν το Συμπόσιο Ελληνικής και Ιρλανδικής Ποίησης, το οποίο θα λάβει χώρα στην Αθήνα, στις 4 και 5 Δεκεμβρίου. Ανυπομονούμε να καλωσορίσουμε πέντε εξαιρετικά ταλαντούχους Ιρλανδούς ποιητές και να διερευνήσουμε, από κοινού με τους διακεκριμένους Έλληνες ομοτέχνους τους, τα εσωτερικά και εξωτερικά τοπία Ιρλανδών και Ελλήνων ποιητών.

Κάποιοι από τους επισκέπτες, όπως o Harry Clifton, ο Theo Dorgan και η Paula Meehan, αποτελούν ήδη καταξιωμένα ονόματα στον χώρο, ενώ άλλες ποιήτριες, όπως η Leontia Flynn και η Caitriona O’

Reilly, είναι φωνές της αναδυόμενης γενιάς των Ιρλανδών ποιητών. Το ίδιο συμβαίνει με τους Έλληνες που συμμετέχουν, όπου διακεκριμένοι ποιητές, όπως ο Νάσος Βαγενάς, ο Χάρης Βλαβιανός, η Λιάνα Σακελλίου και ο Γιώργος Χουλιάρας, συναντούν νεώτερους συναδέλφους τους, όπως η Άννα Γρίβα.

Το πρόγραμμα περιλαμβάνει δύο απογεύματα ποίησης: Ελληνική (4 Δεκεμβρίου, 18:00, Βρετανική Σχολή Αθηνών) και Ιρλανδική (5 Δεκεμβρίου, 18:00, Βρετανική Σχολή Αθηνών), ακαδημαϊκή συνεδρία (4 Δεκεμβρίου, 9:00 έως 15:00, Βρετανική Σχολή Αθηνών), συζήτηση στρογγυλής τραπέζης για τις διασυνδέσεις Ιρλανδίας και Ελλάδας (5 Δεκεμβρίου, 10:00, Ιρλανδικό Ινστιτούτο Ελληνικών Σπουδών στην Αθήνα) και τρία εργαστήρια ποίησης (Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Xάρης Βλαβιανός, 5 Δεκεμβρίου, 12:00 έως 15:00, Ιρλανδικό Ινστιτούτο Ελληνικών Σπουδών στην Αθήνα).

Ο συνδυασμός των σπουδαίων αυτών ποιητικών και λυρικών παραδόσεων ενθαρρύνει και διευρύνει την κατανόησή μας για τις δύο χώρες, τον χαρακτήρα και τη λογοτεχνική τους πολυμορφία.


Βρετανική Σχολή Αθηνών, Σουηδίας 52

Ιρλανδικό Ινστιτούτο Ελληνικών Σπουδών στην Αθήνα, Νοταρά 51α




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