Tribute to Palamas

When the poet Costis Palamas died in February 1943, during the German occupation of Greece, a huge crowd attended his funeral procession, singing the national anthem and turning the occasion into a demonstration against the occupation forces. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of his death, the National Book Center (EKEBI) and the Culture Ministry have planned a series of events running from September to December 2003. The events will pay tribute to the poet’s contribution to literature and the intellectual life of Greece. The aim is to rekindle interest in his work, especially among young readers. There will be events in Mesolongi, the poet’s birthplace; round-table discussions on his work, to be published later in the literary journal Nea Estia as well as a touring exhibition of books, manuscripts and photographs; and publications – such as an album and anthologies, and an exhibition of works by final-year students at the Athens School of Fine Arts on the theme of Palamas’s poetry. The official opening will be at Mesolongi on September 26-27, where EKEBI and the municipality of Mesolongi are organizing events, including a reading of Palamas’s works by invited guests and local residents. In November and December, academics, poets and critics from Greece and abroad will discuss different aspects of Palamas the poet in five round-table discussions at the Culture Ministry in Athens.

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