Book food for thought

Poets Christos Goudis and Mark Sargent are the featured readers this evening at Compendium Bookstore’s regular Third Thursday Poetry Reading. Goudis, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Patras and director of the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the National Observatory in Athens, has published several collections of verse, mainly in Greek. His reading this evening will include selections from «Anahuac,» a collection of four poems written in Spanish, Greek and English. Sargent is a novelist and performance poet, originally from the US Pacific Northwest where he founded a print performance poetry group and a jazz poetry band. He has lived in the mountains of southern Greece since 1990. His latest book is «The Stelae Stories.» The readings start at 8 p.m.; wine and conversation at 7.30 p.m. (At 28 Nikis Street, Syntagma, tel 210.322.1248.) Cultural crossroads The National Book Center (EKEBI) and HELEXPO are holding a meeting for Greek and other Balkan publishers this weekend in Thessaloniki in connection with setting up the Balkan Translation Center and organizing Scripta, the 2004 International Book and Graphics Fair in Thessaloniki. EKEBI’s two new initiatives are designed to capitalize on Thessaloniki’s strong historical, cultural and economic ties with the rest of the Balkans. The translation center will support the translation and publication of literature and social science titles and translations to and from Greek and other Balkan languages. An 11-member committee of writers, critics and academics from Southeastern Europe will approve books for translation, choosing literary titles that promote dialogue and understanding and social science titles of general interest. Scripta, to be inaugurated in May 2004 under the auspices of the Culture Ministry, is intended by the organizers, EKEBI and HELEXPO, to become a communication crossroads among the developed markets of Europe and the United States on the one hand, and the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Central Europe on the other. Kedros is launching the third volume in Nikos Themelis’s popular trilogy on Tuesday, May 27 at the Byzantine Museum in Athens. «The Gleam» delves further into the story of a family whose experiences mirror much of modern Greek history. The previous two volumes, «The Quest» and «The Reversal,» both became best sellers and won critical acclaim. Professors Antonis Liakos and Dimitris Maronitis and author Petros Tsatsopoulos will introduce the books. (At 8 p.m. at the Byzantine Museum, 22 Vassilis Sofias Avenue.) Book fair Last chance to visit the book fair at the Pedion tou Areos Park, which closes Sunday evening. Of interest are the book and author presentations at 6.30 p.m. every day at the Vivlio Cafe run by EKEBI.

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