In cooperation with the British Council and Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the British Embassy invited all poetry lovers in Greece, adults and students, to participate in a poetry competition, that paid homage to peace, reconciliation and sacrifice by submitting either an original poem (in Greek and English) or a translation into Greek of a poem by one of the British WW1 poets.
Winners and runner-ups received cash prizes kindly offered by John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and National Bank Cultural Foundation. The event was kindly hosted at the auditorium of B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music.
Greek Culture Minister, actress Lydia Koniordou, read some of the award-winning poems.
Over 500 entries from all over Greece by participants 12-78 years-old were reviewed by a 4-member panel of award-winning scholars and writers such as Dr Alicia Stallings, Prof. David Ricks, Mr. Miltos Fragopoulos and Mr Harris Vlavianos, poet and head of the panel.
In his address British Ambassador John Kittmer said:
In commemorating the First World War, the British Embassy in Greece is trying to foster remembrance, to promote education and to involve younger and older people alike. We have chosen three themes: sacrifice, reconciliation and peace. Poetry can help us. In Greece, poets have been meditating on conflict since Homer first sang the Iliad. We hope that bringing the voices of the British war poets to Greece, through this competition, will stimulate reflection among Greek and British people not only on what our forefathers, British, Greek and others, jointly did here, but also on the sources and remedies of today’s conflicts.
Mr Harris Vlavianos, poet and head of the panel noted:
The British Embassy decided accordingly to commemorate the centenary of WWI by organising a poetry competition. It was an appropriate and wonderful initiative that celebrates the power of poetry to fight against the forces of destruction, while at the same time reminding us the fragility of human existence.
Click here to view photos from the Awards Ceremony.
Media partners: The Books’ Journal, The Athens Review, ελculture.gr, Entefktirion, Poiitiki, Nea Efthini.