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Meet Some Contemporary Greek Poets

By on April 14, 2023


by Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos

Welcome back! April is National Poetry Month, so let’s talk poets! Thoughts of Greek poetry may conjure names like Cavafy, Dimoula, Elytis, Palamas, Ritsos, Sappho, Seferis, Solomos, even Homer. But did you know that their tradition is alive and well today? There are many incredibly talented contemporary poets, and we could chat for hours about them. But here are some to check out. Enjoy!

Katie Aliferis

The San Francisco-based poet and performer honors her Greek heritage, living with chronic illness, love, and more in her work. Her poetry has been published in many anthologies, journals, and websites, including 9 Muses News, The Cerurove, Lucent Dreaming, the San Francisco Public Library’s Poem of the Day, and sPARKLE & bLINK. She’s also a featured performer at local and international literary series and events. Her first book, fool[ishly optimistic] (Nomadic Press), came out last year.

Georgia Bellas

An artist, poet, ventriloquist, and filmmaker based in Wisconsin, Georgia’s work immerses us in her keen observations of the world. She’s been published in Milk Candy Review, Ruby Literary Press, Janus Literary, and more. She’s been nominated for the coveted Pushcart Prize. Georgia performs in a poetry band called Sugar Whiskey, and she—well, her teddy bear—is the host of the award-winning weekly Internet radio show, ‘Mr. Bear’s Violet Hour Saloon’.

John Bokas

For more than 50 years, John has committed his musings to paper. He recently published his first poetry collection, Skies kai Chromata (Shadows and Colors). His work is introspective, and he writes about nature and the complexities of human existence. The prolific poet writes in Greek and lives in Maryland.

Koraly Dimitriadis

The Greek-Cypriot-Australian poet, performer, and filmmaker has published two books. Just Give Me the Pills and Love and F**k Poems, both published by Out of the Box Press, have recently been re-released. She’s also been published in multiple journals. Her words are raw and fearless. She takes on topics like love, marriage, divorce, women’s roles, mental health, shame, and more. Her latest work is a film based on her poem of the same name, “Yiayia Mou”.

Sissy Doutsiou

Born and raised in Athens, this poet and actress studied astrophysics and theater. She’s a founding member of the Institute of Experimental Arts and curator of the annual International Video Poetry Festival in Athens. Sissy has published four critically-acclaimed poetry collections plus a compilation of erotic and political short stories called, “The Voyeur”. Her English-language poetry is a no-holds-barred commentary on culture, current events, and more.

Yiannis Doukas

Born in Greece, Yiannis lived in Ireland while pursuing his PhD. He’s published four poetry collections to date. His first book, The World as I Came and Found it (Kedros), was published in 2001. Inner Borders (Polis, 2011) is the recipient of the Diavazo Journal Debut Poetry Collection Award. The Stendhal Syndrome, (Polis, 2013) received the G. Athanas Award of the Academy of Athens. His work has been included in anthologies and translated into eight languages. He writes about “things I notice and how I distill them”, how humanity is tested, and more. Several of his poems have been set to music.

Kyriaki Drakou

This award-winning poet, artist, and educator is based in Greece. She’s published several poetry collections and if you get a chance to hear her read her poetry, do take it! Her passion for Greece, its history and culture shine through. If it’s possible, she’ll make you even prouder of your heritage. She writes in Greek.

Alexandra Kostoulas

An award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and essays, Alexandra is also the founder of the San Francisco Creative Writing Institute, and a writing teacher and coach. Her Greek culture and experience as a Greek-American woman infuse her writings. She often performs her work in the San Francisco area. Alexandra recently completed a book of poetry called Leaving Los Angeles, about a young poet’s coming-of-age. It is the last in a trilogy of collections that rounds out the theme. She’s working on her first novel.

Karian Markos

This poet, writer, and attorney calls the Chicago area home. A second-generation poet, she grew up in a celebration of the literary arts and no doubt is inspired by her father, George Karavolos. Her work is at once reflective and also permeated with her Greek culture and her ancestral Chios. Karian’s poetry and short stories have been published by Highland Park Poetry, Living Crue, Prairie Light Review, Bombfire, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Little Old Lady Comedy, and others. Her poem, “Reverie” appears in Distilled Lives, Volume 6, published by the Illinois State Poetry Society. She’s currently penning her first novel, an epic fantasy.

Valerie Nifora

A best-selling and award-winning author and poet, Valerie is also a marketing communications executive and speaker. I Asked the Wind: A Collection of Romantic Poetry (The Unapologetic Voice House, 2019) is the recipient of multiple awards. This work has been called “courageous” and “thought-provoking” and delves into the highs and lows of love. Her first novel, a contemporary historical romance called The Fairmounts (Author Academy Elite, 2022) debuted as a #1 New Release. She recently published Unleash the Power of You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating and Sustaining Your Own Personal Brand (Ethos Collection, 2023).

Dean Petrakis

Son of the late Author Harry Mark Petrakis, Dean is a writer, poet, businessman, and actor, and calls California home. His impressive pedigree is surely tough to live up to, but Dean holds his own in his first poetry and prose collection, Sweeping Up Stardust (Independently published, 2021). These writings provide a glimpse into his soul, where he reveals his life—joy, pain, tragedy, the quest for knowledge and peace.

Hilary Sideris

An American poet of Greek and Irish ancestry, Hilary culls the depths of all of her cultures to inform her work. Her poems have appeared in multiple journals, including The American Journal of Poetry, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, The Cortland Review, Poet Lore, Poetry Daily, The Southern Poetry Review, among others; and have been published in several anthologies. Now Brooklyn-based, Hilary has also published nine poetry collections.

Lia Siomou

This Greek-born poet is a former scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy at Argonne National Laboratory. She’s published seven poetry collections. Her latest, Of Life, of Love, Poetry 1995-2011 (Eleftheroudakis), was published in 2022. Some of her work has been set to music by Athanasios Zervas and was recently presented along with her new book at the Archaeological Museum of Athens. Written in Greek, her ethereal work calms the noise of the world. She is working on a new collection in English.

Danae Sioziou

Raised in Greece and Germany, Danae is a multilingual poet, cultural manager, and educator. She’s the former co-editor of the literary journal, Teflon. Her work has appeared in many international publications, including Harlequin Creature, The Ilanot Review, NYRB, and Brooklyn Rail; plus multiple anthologies. Danae has participated in numerous international literary festivals. She’s a recipient of the State Prize for Young Writers, Jiannis Varveris’ Prize for Young Writers by Hellenic Writers’ Society, and Special Prize in the Poetry Competition in Memoir of the Kalavrita Holocaust, State of Kalavrita. She’s published three poetry collections. Danae said she writes poems to “create space in language for hope”, and gives voice to topics such as gender roles, language, imagination, oppression, war, history, and myth.

Well, that will get you started! Continue to explore and let their dazzling and insightful words color your world. See you next time for more of Mnemosyni’s Musings.

About Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos is a journalist, author, and emerging poet. She's the founder & former publisher/editor of WindyCity Greek magazine and former associate editor & senior writer for The Greek Star newspaper. She’s a contributor to TripFiction. Her work has been published in Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, Highland Park Poetry, Greek City Times, GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, NEO magazine, Harlots Sauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, KPHTH magazine, XPAT Athens, and more. One of her poems was recently published in The Magic of Us — A Moms Who Write Anthology. Maria has contributed to two books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes and The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook. She's currently querying her 1st novel.