On Tuesday 5 April, the Cyprus High Commission hosted a launch of the book “Giorgos Christodoulides: Selected Poems (1996-2021)”. The book launch took place in the context of the London Book Fair 2022.
The High Commissioner of Cyprus, Mr Andreas Kakouris, opened the event by praising the merits of Christodoulides’s achievements, who is one of the most prominent living Cypriot poets with prize-winning poetry collections and translated work in international anthologies.
Dr Michael Paraskos, Senios Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication at Imperial College London, delivered the event’s keynote speech, contemplating on the importance of a volume with Christodoulides’s translated poems, especially for the diasporic communities of Cypriots across the world, who have experienced loss and displacement, notions that characterise Christodoulides’s work.
Paraskos’s speech was followed by a brief intervention by the translator, Despina Pirketti, who paralleled the work of the translator with that of a messenger or a narrator of stories that needed to be readjusted so as to be presented to a new and difference audience.
Last but not least, the poet himself explained that he writes poetry to give voice to people and things that may have lost it. He also confessed how he welcomed multiple readings and interpretations of his work, as he believed in a dynamic relationship between poetry, audience and time.
The event was attended by an international audience of academics, students, and general public and was coordinated by Cultural Counsellor, Dr Marios Psaras.
Photo credit: Tas Anastasi
Giorgos Christodoulides has written eight collections of poetry. Presented with the Cyprus state poetry award twice, he has seen his work published in single volumes in Bulgarian, French, German, Serbian and, more recently, in English. In 2018, he coedited the Anthology of Cypriot Poetry 1960-2018. His poems move from succinct stories of overlooked laymen to Cypriot snapshots with a hint of the surreal, and from there to a mesmerizing fusion of people and landscapes. Christodoulides has been featured in international anthologies, literary journals and at poetry festivals across the world. A working journalist, he lives in Nicosia with his family.