Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke and Kiki Dimoula (born in 1939 and 1931 respectively) both left this life in early 2020, leaving behind a huge absence in Modern Greek letters. Both women came of literary age in a post-war Greece whose liberty would be shadowed by the military dictatorship of the Junta. Yet it would be hard to think of two Greek poets further apart in their sensibilities: one famously translatable (a translator in her own right, and widely translated by Anglophone poets), translation itself being a prime subject; and the other famously impossible to translate, where the idiosyncrasies of Greek grammar operate as one of her central metaphors. It is hard to think of two contemporary Greek poets with such different voices, but for both the matrix of poetry was the Greek language itself. In this recording, Stallings looks at and discusses poems by both poets, and various approaches in translation to bringing their work across into English.
A.E. Stallings is an American poet who studied Classics at the University of Georgia and Oxford. She has published three collections of poetry, Archaic Smile, Hapax, and Olives, and a verse translation (in rhyming fourteeners!) of Lucretius, The Nature of Things. She has received a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from United States Artists, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She speaks and lectures widely on a variety of topics, and has been a regular faculty member at the West Chester Poetry Conference and the Sewanee Summer Writers' Conference.
Watch the video recording of this event here.