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Inner and Outer Landscapes of Irish and Greek Poets (4-5 Δεκεμβρίου 2015)

Inner and Outer Landscapes of Irish and Greek Poets (4-5 Δεκεμβρίου 2015)



Poetry Symposium co-organized by University of Athens, Greece & University of Lodz, Poland

 4-5 December 2015   

British School of Athens Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens

This celebration of poetry’s creation of landscapes provides an opportunity for a meeting of Irish and Greek poets, scholars, and international visitors. Situated at two extremes of Europe, Ireland and Greece share some character-making traits of their landscapes: a largely insular structure, an intimate relation with the sea, and historical parallels up to the present day.

Traditionally, landscapes of poetry, environment and the soul influence one another, and today more than ever this influence has become international. Some of the invited Irish poets have been inspired to create the landscapes of their writing by their Greek experience, just as their Greek counterparts have been inspired by Ireland.

Tourism and travel offers an opportunity for such (self-)discovery but the same, or even more so, holds about reading, writing, or translation as spiritual travel into different places and into one’s own inner world. Cases of intercultural translation, exploration of other cultures through language, the meeting with the Other all complement and expand the notion of space provided by poetry. As opposed to prose including travel writing, poetry disposes of more concise means of landscape representation, and yet often performs in a more convincing and memorable way.

Poets create acts of environmental imagination that “potentially register and energise engagement with the world,” for instance by sending readers to places “where they would otherwise never physically go” or “affecting one’s caring for the physical world” (Lawrence Buell, Writing for an Endangered World 2).

This poetry symposium (meaning both an academic discussion and a convivial meeting) encourages the expansion of our landscapes, both inner and outer, Irish and Greek.

This invited event is open to the general public.


Friday, 4 Dec 2015

9:00-14:00: Academic Session (British School at Athens)

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”


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?”

18:00-21:00: Greek poetry reading (British School at Athens)

Yiorgos Chouliaras

Anna Griva

Liana Sakelliou

Nasos Vayenas

Haris Vlavianos


Moderator: Prof. Maria  Germanou

English translations of the Greek poems

[wine and small buffet]

Saturday, 5 Dec 2015


10:00-11:30: round table discussion (IIHSA)

“Ireland and Greece: Landscape, Poetry, History”

Symposium participants:

Irish, Greek, Polish and American poets and scholars, the public

Moderator: Dr. Mina Karavanta

12:00-15:00 poetry workshops (IIHSA)

12:00-13:00 Paula Meehan

13:00-14:00 Theo Dorgan

14:00-15:00 Haris Vlavianos

18:00-21:00: Irish poetry reading and music (British School at Athens)

Attended by

H.E. The Ambassador of Ireland to the Hellenic Republic, Noel Kilkenny


 Harry Clifton (former Ireland Professor of Poetry)

Theo Dorgan

Leontia Flynn

Paula Meehan (Ireland Professor of Poetry)

Caitriona O’Reilly


Moderator:  Dr. Anna Despotopoulou


Greek translators of the Irish poems:

Nelly Bouradani: Caitriona O’Reilly, Harry Clifton

Marcia Israelides: Harry Clifton

Socrates Kabouropoulos: Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Harry Clifton



Prof. Fran O’Rourke (University College Dublin)


Traditional songs associated with the work of W. B. Yeats and James Joyce

[wine and small buffet]

In Memoriam:  Spyros Iliopoulos (1951-2013)

Spyros Iliopoulos (1951-2013) was one of the most important readers and translators of Yeats’ poems and plays into Greek. He received his B.A from the University of Athens, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Warwick. His Ph.D. thesis was on Yeats. As a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Athens he taught British and Irish poetry and focused on Yeats in a number of courses and to hundreds of students whom he  stimulated to further study Irish literature and culture. Iliopoulos’ most significant works on Yeats were an article “That Other Self: Yeats, Jung, and the Literary Psychology of the Double” (Parousia, 1993), an article with the first Greek Bibliography of Yeats’ translations (Νέα Εστία, 1989), the first book in Greece  of translated  poems, stories, essays and a one-act play by Yeats entitled Butler Yeats, William, 1865-1939,  Μυθολογίες και οράματα (Γαβριηλίδης, 1999), an edition of 25 poems entitled Butler Yeats, William, 1865-1939,  Ποιήματα (Μορφωτικό Ίδρυμα Εθνικής Τραπέζης, 2005), as well as an anthology of Yeats’ 70 love poems entitled Butler Yeats, William, 1865-1939, 70 ερωτικά (Εστία, 2000), which he co-edited and co-translated with M. Sidiropoulou  et al. His many publications in Greece and abroad consist of books and articles on the work of  W. B. Yeats, William Blake, E. A. Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Cesare Brandi and Ted Hughes.

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