September 12, 2014

Kiki Dimoula

Kiki Dimoula [Greece]

Born in Athens on June 19, 1931, Kiki Dimoula grew up the daughter of a desk worker at the Bank of Greece and later followed her father in such a position where she worked through the dark days of the Greek junta for 25 years.
    Her marriage to poet Athos Dimoulas (1921-1985) resulted in two children; and it was her husband who encouraged her to also write poetry to counter what she describes as “the prison days” of her desk job.
    Her first book Ποιήματα (Poems) appeared in 1952, and, thereafter, she published 13 further volumes from 1956-2010.
    Dimoula began to receive international attention in 1971, when she was awarded the Greek State Prize, which she won again in 1988. She has received numerous other awards and was the first woman to be chosen for the Αριστείο Γραμμάτων of the Academy of Athens in 2001. She also received the European Prize for Literature in 2009.
    Her central themes are hopelessness, insecurity, absence and oblivion. Using diverse subjects and twisting grammar in unconventional ways, she accentuates the power of the words through astonishment and surprise, but always manages to maintain a possibility of hope.
    Her work has been widely translated, and is published by the prestigious house of Gallimard in France.


Ποιήματα (Poems), 1952; Έρεβος (Erebus/Pitch Dark) (1956; Athens: Stigmi, 1990); Ερήμην (In absentia) (1958; Athens: Stigmi, 1990); Επί τα ίχνη (On the trail) (1963; Athens: Stigmi, 1994); Το λίγο του κόσμου (The Bit of the World) (1971; Athens: Nefeli, 1983); Το Τελευταίο Σώμα μου (My last body) (Athens: Kimean,1981); Χαίρε ποτέ (Salute you never) (Athens: Stigmi,1988); Η εφηβεία της Λήθης (Lethe's Adolescense) (Athens: Stigmi, 1994); (Collected Poems) (Athens: Ikaros, 1998); Eνός λεπτού μαζί (One Minute Together) (Athens: Ikaros, 1998; Ήχος απομακρύνσεων (Distancing Sound) (Athens: Ikaros, 2001); Χλόη θερμοκηπίου (Glass-house lawn) (Athens: Ikaros, 2005); Μεταφερθήκαμε παραπλεύρως (We moved next door) (Athens: Ikaros, 2007); Τα εύρετρα (Athens: Ikaros, 2010)


Lethe’s Adolescence (David Connoly, trans.) (Minnesota: Theofanis Stavrou, 1996); The Brazen Plagiarist: Selected Poems (Cecile Ingesis Margellos and Rika Lesser, trans) (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014)

For a selection of poems by Dimoula, click below:

For another selection of poems by Dimoula, go here:

For a profile on Kiki Dimoula in The New York Times, go here:

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