happy new year

[greek version -based on the english translation by maya peretz- of a poem by the polish poet halina poswiatowska: as a small new year's present to readers known and unknown.]


for the solution

[a piece in greek, commissioned by lifo free press weekly. written on 8 december 2009 -the riots in athens had started in the night of 6 december- it principally expressed my consternation at the impasse that violence, under all its guises, represents.]


[not?] a chance meeting

[a piece in greek -commissioned by 'kathimerini' daily for the 'comment on a theme' column of its saturday 'life & arts' section- weaving the rich intellectual and social activist heritage described in rachel cohen's a chance meeting with one of its vindications: barack obama's recent election as president of the u.s.a.]


sailing in

On 3.xii.2008, the publication of To Sosivio [The Lifesaver] was toasted with red wine, thanks to the kind invitation of Kastaniotis Editions and the flagship 'Eleftheroudakis' bookshop, on Stadiou St., Athens.


robert frank

[a piece in greek, about robert frank - on the occasion of the 50th anniversary edition of the americans.]



[a translation in greek of sylvia plath's 'sheep in fog', chanced upon in the faber & faber 2009 diary.]


the lifesaver

splash! [in bookshop sea]

[this print by monika zawadzka adorns the cover]


thom gunn: 9 poems

[greek translations of nine poems by thom gunn, originally published in 'poiesi' poetry journal.]

robert creeley: 14 poems

[translations in greek of fourteen poems by robert creeley, originally published in 'poiesi' poetry journal.]


darling i'm clearing up

darling i'm clearing up

cold here - and there?
i'm pulling up my hair pulling up

my hands, picking up the ribbons, the glitter

pencils, smiles - look:

pain went right through

the body called it in

the body waits - it wants/wanted to change

but it stays put

[pain will change it]

then it will go out, another

see? through a coloured

slit / then there's a ladder

and then everything's pink

[wrong window]

start again -

darling i'm clearing out

Written in one go in a warm cafe in Stockholm's Sodermalm on an icy morning of October 2007. Eleni Theofilaktou had invited me to write a piece for her upcoming exhibition, "Darling, I'm clearing up" at 'tint' gallery in Thessaloniki, Greece (November 2007 - January 2008). She'd sent me photos of some of the works she'd be showing [e.g. the two below], we'd talked, I'd been keeping notes, mental as well as written. I sent the piece to her as a photo of the manuscript [above], since she'd liked the LLEL/LIR/LYR manuscript. She decided to make colour photocopies of it, which her show's visitors were free to take away with them.

[The english version is my own.]


the room


From everywhere
I must be going

A space of freedom
the secret of encounter

I was looking around
I feared something else


In order to make something together
they must first get to know each other
To get to know each other
they must first meet each other
(where they can escape
–below the window–
then separate again)

[marriage is pulsing under death]

(On the uncomfortable seats
–they do not face each other–
the things I do not want to happen
The body’s middle
the body’s centre
is sensitive
gets tired
with immobility)

They must write
There must be a reason or a cause (or an enigma)
on each other
the two bodies inside
I have to find what must be solved
a third
the two thoughts inside
the air draught

(door – window)


The light is born
inside the room

as much water as pain

gradual abandonment
those who sawed
came to eat
they hoped what they buried
would appear

A sonorous and vain, monotonous line
there is no body, he is black
[and goes on
they are lowering her]

Couple, farewell – I go to see
the shade you have become

couple, farewell – I await
the light you bring/flee

I was trapped
there on the glass

[I think I’ll let her]


He died
on her own she managed


she desired

an unbearable movement

an entire man’s weight

The goblin tells her
’tis I who will teach you to draw
’tis I who will teach you to dance

You will be that woman once more
she wondered was it woman perhaps
that you don’t remember becoming
she couldn’t remember from what she should be saved
once more that girl
you were ashamed to be

I will marry you
you will bear me children
you will feed them
Every morning
letters and lines
her own (only)


Even in the obscurity
of Thou
–an addressable Thou–
there still exists
the possibility
of meeting

(There always belonged
to the poem’s hopes
that it might speak
also about
the entirely Other)

I cannot see what’s first and then what follows
how one prepares oneself

to die

this march has started

I don’t have a voice and what I want
say does not exist


For hours now I’d been thinking to begin

This is not the place
Nowhere is the place

In this in-between space

(between two
air and water)

place of liberation
of free oscillation

body and thought
you and the Other
between the two)

in statu nascendi
in statu moriendi
(pause of breath)

There’s the foundation:
with no soil

The poem stands on itself
man also

it must
(life, you must pass through)
still be

Language becoming form

The poem lonely and en route
is already inside
the secret of the encounter


Stone turns into feather
when air turns into water

I choose not to choose

Written for the installation LLEL / LIR / LYR, a collaboration with Maria Konti during “blind date #12” (Industrial Space, Keiriadon & Sfittion, Athens, December 2006). It was born out of several meetings and conversations with M.K..

Phrases in italics are from her texts. My own text incorporates, paraphrased or intact, phrases by: M. K., Stephane Mallarme, Robert Musil, Paul Celan, Peggy Pheelan.

The text was presented as a manuscript, written on two folding sheets composed of seven pages each. My text was on white paper, and, on top of it, the fragments of phrases from previous texts by M.K. (transcribed in italics above), written on tracing paper.

[The two no. 4 pages: left, the tracing paper. Their synthesis gives rise to section 4 above. They also appear, superimposed, at the centre of the photograph below.]

These fragments, coming from passages by M.K. I had already underlined, were traced exactly in the position where they occurred in the original. Consequently, their position with respect to the text ‘below them’ and on which they were ‘projected’ was a matter of chance.

The two ‘septifold’ sheets were secured with tape on one of their two sides to a long working table found in the industrial space itself, so that the tracing paper covered the writing paper – one could, however, lift it. In front of the table, two stools allowed two visitors to sit in front of the text. In addition, strips of paper bearing the work’s rectangular stamp, ‘LLEL/LIR/LYR’, were at the viewers’ disposal, who could write on them whatever they wished.

As they sat, to their far right hang a drawing by M.K. [selective tracing, with blue carbon sheet on old paper, of a blown up copy of Hans Holbein the Younger’s Portrait of a 39-year old man],

while at the far back, could be seen three brown chalk drawings, also by M.K., that we had executed jointly, under her instructions, directly on the wall.

[The english version and the photographs are my own.]



this photograph was presented during "lookout" [athens, september 2003]. it was projected on the wall of a block of flats near the junction of kallirois ave. and vouliagmenis ave..


this piece -a composite of two photographs- was presented at the "capturing utopia" group show
['fournos', athens, september 2005].


seamus heaney: 4 poems

[greek translations of four poems by seamus heaney, originally published in 'anti' magazine in 1995 -the week following the announecement of his award of the nobel prize- and 1997 - following one of his visits in athens.]

andrew motion, 'independence'

[greek translation of andrew motion's 'independence', originally published in 'poiesi' poetry journal.]


spring's treefellers

I like you because I don't know where I’ll find you

Always half in the light
the other half in the dark
–hesitating between
beauty and wonder
between yourself and your true face–
waiting for me to fall
to finally choose
the side that you also already know
but will only tread together with me


Darkness now gathers
around us love thickens
it won't be long before
thin bashfulness slips off you


Going back to your place at midnight
a young mother, dizzy
still drinking – face bruised
child in her arms
kept picking up his teddy-bear
from the filthy train floor
you said My mum would never do this

After we got there, I stroked you into sleep

Then with your body
spooned around mine
I was trying to fit in your slumber's embrace

Going home the next day
I saw in the street
spring's tree-fellers


Few hours later I'm already losing your face
I try to keep hold of likenesses
– the picture escapes me

Sometimes I manage
to assemble your smile
on the armchair's red cloth
Then I'm struck by two lines
descending bitter to the mouth
and then I think I've found you
on magazine pages
– staring over the shoulder
with a blue heart tattoo

And I ask when you hug me again
if you can recall me – you turn with that face
half in light and you smile
Ask me again when it's dark

[The english version is my own; the original greek was first published in 'Poiesi' literary review (v.13, Spring-Summer 1999), and is included in To Sosivio [The Lifesaver] (Kastaniotis Editions, 2008)]


so far

Panayotis Ioannidis was born in 1967 in Athens, where he now lives, after studying biology in the UK, and education in Greece. He works with words and images.

_ words _

He has published three books of poems with Kastaniotis Editions, To sosivio [The lifesaver, 2008] Akalyptos [Uncovered, 2013], Polonia [2016].

His poems have been included in two English-language anthologies 
(T. Chiotis, Futures - Poetry of the Greek crisis, Penned in the Margins, 2015 / K. Van Dyck, Austerity Measures, Penguin, 2016 & New York Review Books, 2017), one 
German anthology (Wassiliki Knithaki & Adrian Kasnitz (eds.), Kleine Tiere zum Schlachten, Parasiten Presse, 2017), and in the book "NICE - Is return possible?" (Lo&Behold, 2016).

They have also been published in English-language journals (
"Filling Station" 21, 2001 / "Drunken Boat" 19, 2014; "Hotel Amerika" 13, 2015; "Poetry London" 82, 2015; "Hotel Amerika" 14 , 2016), Polish ("Lirydram" 16, 2017), Swedish ("Subaltern" 2-3, 2014), and Turkish ("Bireylikler" 29, Nov. 2009). They were presented during the "16 Young Greek Poets" readings, organised by the theatre company "Praxi" in spring 1997; received 2nd prize at the "1st Meeting of Young Artists (Vakalo Art School)" in spring 1998; and were presented at the "Umeå Littfest" international literary festival (Sweden, 2014).

He has translated poems by Seamus Heaney ("anti" b 588, 13 October 1995; b 635, 23 May 1997), Andrew Motion ("Poiesi" 9, Spring-Summer 1997), Thom Gunn ("Poeisi" 12, Autumn-Winter 1998; "Entefktirio" 
86, July-Sept. 2009; "Farmako" 7, Spring-Summer 2016), Robert Creeley ("Poeisi" 18, Autumn-Winter 2001), Elaine Feinstein, Fiona Sampson and Michael Symmons Roberts ("Poiitiki" 10, Autumn-Winter 2012), David Harsent ("Farmako" 4, Autumn-Winter 2014), Elizabeth Bishop ("The Books' Journal" 65, April 1016), William Carlos Williams("Farmako" 7, Spring-Summer 2016), and Robert Duncan ("Farmako" 7, Spring-Summer 2016; "The Books' Journal" 75, March 2017) - as well as poetic texts by visual artists Louise Bourgeois and Roni Horn ("Farmako" 10, Autumn-Winter 2017).

Since 2011, he has been curating a series of monthly poetry readings, "Words (can) do it", where Greek poets of different generations read their own poems, or foreign-language poetry is read in the original and its Greek translation.

He is poetry editor for the monthly "The books' journal" from August 2013. In addition, since its 1st issue (May 2013), he is on the editorial board of the journal "for the investigation of the poetic phenomenon", "Farmako", where he also reviews poetry books. 

At the 28th Greek Poetry Symposium (Patras, 2008), he co-authored with Theodossios Tassios the presentation "Poetry and image", whilst at the 31st (Patras, 2011) he gave the presentation "When is poetry (not) in crisis?" In June 2013, he took part, together with another six Greek and seven American poets, in the poetic 'blind date', "Set out to Ithaca", within the "Return to Ithaca 2013" festival.

Since February 2013, he has been coordinating a poetry-writing group for adults at the British Council (Athens). Also since 2013, he has been teaching in the Cavafy Archive's / Onassis Foundation educational programmes for secondary schools, using innnovative approaches (e.g. theatre performance, hip-hop, comics, photography) to Cavafy's poetry.

During 1994-1997, he collaborated with 'anti' cultural and political weekly magazine, where he kept a column, "The wild and the tame", and was guest-editor for issues partly devoted to the essayist and poet Zissimos Lorentzatos and the short story writer Helias C. Papadimitrakopoulos. Since then, articles and interviews by him have appeared in "Αno Teleia" (2017), "Ta Nea" (2017), "Efimerida ton Syntakton" (2017), "Kathimerini" (2008, 2010, 2015, 2017), "Lifo" (2008/i2008/ii), and 'tranzistor' (2005).

_ words + images _

During November 2007 - January 2008, a specially written poem of his accompanied -as a photocopied photograph of the manuscript- painter Eleni Theofilaktou's exhibition, "Darling I'm clearing up" (tint gallery, Thessaloniki), whilst a commissioned poem accompanied Efi Panagoula's photograph for 15 March 2010 in the Greek language web diary, "365 friends". During the 2nd Athens Biennale / 'Heaven', he took part in 'Poetica Residenza Arcadia' (June 2009).

In December 2006, during "blind date #12" (Industrial space, Keiriadon & Sfittion St., Athens) -a collaboration, in pairs, of visual artists and writers, for which latter group he was also the coordinator- he presented with visual artist Maria Konti the installation llel/lir/lyr. In March 2011, during the group show "Icono-poeisis" (M. Cacoyannis Foundation, Athens), he presented the installation Les Mains d' Hypnos, on poetry by Rene Char that he had translated.

_ images _

. Books_ Salon de Vortex (ed), "NICE - Is return possible?" (Lo & Behold, 2016) / Ianna Andreadis (ed.), "ΑΘΗΝΑ ΘΕΑ - Παράθυρα στην πόλη" (Agra, 2016)

. Shows _ «Lookout» (Athens, Sept. 2003) / «Capturing utopia» ("Fournos", Athens, Sept. 2005) / "Autonomous Photography" ("Fotagogos", Athens, 2015) / "Fenêtres sur Athènes / ΑΘΗΝΑ ΘΕΑ" (Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, Paris, 2015-16) / "ΑΘΗΝΑ ΘΕΑ" (Benaki Museum, Athens, 2016-17)

. Printed media _ 'Eleftherotypia' Greek daily (26.ii.2011) / 'Athens News' English-language Greek daily (13.iii.2011 + 16.v.2011) / 'FRMK' (issue 2, Autumn-Winter 2013)

. Web media _ come into land (Jan. 2011) / troppo tardi (Feb. 2011) / vagabook (May 2011) / luoghi comuni (June 2011) / view (May 2012) / diet cola zine (March 2013) / lifo (Apr. 2013) / popaganda (Dec. 2013Oct. 2017)

. Curated _ 'Uncertain traces' (Images of the month, "come into land", July 2011)

_ contact _