Athens Poetry Protest



World Poetry Day

March 21, 2012

Not just another protest, but an OTHER protest

Poetry against the Crisis


The Poets Circle, the magazines Poetix and Poietika, Mikri Arktos Publications, and the culture chain Ianos call on everyone to join the Athens Poetry Protest on March 21, 2012, World Poetry Day. This initiative is intended as a different protest that brings poetry forward against the crisis. This call is addressed to everyone who defends cultural values and is being supported by poets, artists, publishers, booksellers, international poetry networks, and others in the arts. This call is addressed to everyone who defends the center of the city with more cultural activities.


With culture and the verses of our poets as our banner

Against all conventional distinctions

Against the corruption of the political system

Against what led us to an economic, ethical, and cultural crisis

Against uncritical populism

Against violence and vandalism

Against those who burn buildings

Against those who attack bookshops wishing to destroy ideas they represent

Against those who cultivate fear in the city and in people’s lives


On March 21, let poems become our slogans, let poets be our reference points, let verses on our picket signs give life to new reflections, to a different future growing out of our present and past.


We call on everyone to defend culture. With poems as our rallying cries, with verses by Homer and Solomos, Cavafy, Seferis, Elytis, and contemporary poets, we wish to bring forth a world concealed by statistics. It is a world in resistance that places values against markets, which try to impose memoranda and destroy justice and people’s welfare. We resist against any devaluation of actions and demands related to culture.


This is probably the first time that World Poetry Day is turning into a day of resistance as well as celebration, on such a scale, through poetry against the crisis. After all, World Poetry Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999, when author Vassilis Vassilikos was Greece’s representative to the organization, while March this year has been proclaimed “month of poetry” in Greece by the Poets Circle.


In a press conference on March 13, poets Yiorgos Chouliaras (Poets Circle) and Dino Siotis (Poetix), publishers Kostas Govostis (Poietika) and Paraskevas Karasoulos (Mikri Arktos Publications) and head of Ianos bookshops Nikos Karatzas shared information on the Athens Poetry Protest, which is summarized further down.


Present at the conference were also the poets Titos Patrikios, Yiannis Dallas, Dimitris Kalokyris, Anastassis Vistonitis, and Yorgos Blanas, as well as the composer Eleni Karaindrou, the theater directors Thanassis Papageorgiou and Antonis Antypas, the Director of the National School of Dance Pavlina Veremi, the visual artist Marios Voutsinas, the Director of the Museum of Greek Children’s Art Eva Stamati, and many others. There is a list in formation on our blog of the many cultural organizations, which support and participate in this initiative and include the Hellenic Authors’ Society, Greek and international poetry festivals, bookshops and publishers, print and electronic literary periodicals, cultural media, Modern Greek Studies programs abroad, and the World Poetry Movement.


Join the protest

Wednesday, March 21 


Poems will be our only slogans


Come with your favorite verses on picket signs, on banners, in copies that you will distribute, written on yourselves. Use your imagination & self-initiative.

Assemble at 12 noon outside Ianos bookshop (Stadiou 24) and walk up to Panepistemiou Streetwith musicians & street artists, respecting the rights of others on the street. Make stops to listen to a poem being read outside the National Library of Greece, the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, and at the corner of Homer Street. Proceed to the center of Syntagma (Constitution) Square, where students of the National School of Dance will perform briefly at the dedication of the

invisible monument of the unknown poet


Please visit our blog


Please sign the appeal as an individual or cultural organization via the blog or by going to


Please shareYou may email ideas & suggestions to


If not now, when? If not us, who?



Make a leap faster than decay

                           Odysseus Elytis

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