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The politics of poetic form

Associate Professor Vrasidas Karalis to present free commemorative lecture on the life and works of poet Dimitris Tsaloumas this week

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The late poet, Dimitris Tsaloumas. Photo: Supplied

31 October 2017

Associate Professor of Modern Greek at the University of Sydney, Vrasidas Karalis will present a free commemorative lecture on the life and works of contemporary Greek Australian poet Dimitris Tsaloumas at the Greek Centre in Melbourne.

Persecuted for his political beliefs, Tsaloumas migrated to Melbourne in 1952 residing in Elwood, travelling back and forth to Leros, where he was born, until his passing in 2016, aged 94.

Tsaloumas was a prolific poet before migrating to Australia, with two collections already published. Although he ceased to write for more than a decade, he was rewarded for his reignition of the written word with The Observatory published in 1983, which won him the prestigious National Book Council Award in 1994. He received numerous other awards during his creative output.

Karalis' lecture will hone in on "poetic language and its evolution through various genres and forms". He will take the audience through the early modernist poetics of Tsaloumas, exploring their "permanent vestiges in his later mature poetry both in English and Greek".

Tsaloumas experimented with form throughout his poetic evolution and Karalis will carefully examine these shifts and look more closelt at the social and artistic contribution of the language of Tsaloumas.

The lecture will conclude with a brief discussion of his final book in English Helen of Troy (2007) and explore the poetics of formal minimalism that Tsaloumas articulated.

The lecture is a joint initiative of the Greek Australian Cultural League and the Greek Community of Melbourne.

The lecture will take place Thursday 2 November at the Greek Centre Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC at 7.00 pm. Attendance is free.

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