Generational change and the poetry of Greek-Australians
Greek in Australia have made important contributions to literature and these contributions are now well documented.
But for some time there has been something missing in the story told about the Greek literary presence in Australia.
Although the novels, plays and poems of first-generation Greek-Australians, such as Dimitris Tsaloumas and Vasso Kalamaras, among others, have received attention, and while younger novelists and playwrights of Greek descent have gained great mainstream following such as, Christos Tsiolkas, a small and growing group of Greek-Australian writers has gone largely unnoticed.
Namely those poets who were born in Australia of Greek parents, or who came to Australia from Greece at a young age.
This is a bit of a generalisation, as a number of second-generation Greek-Australians have made an impact with their poetry, having published highly acclaimed work and having won various awards.
Poets like Π.Ο., Angela Costi, Tom Petsinis, Peter Lyssiotis and Anna Couani - others could be added to the list.
I have long felt, that there must be more poets, from our generation, who are producing innovative and insightful work, but who are not receiving the exposure and recognition that their work deserves.
So, I set out to find them. I was surprised by the quantity and quality of what has being written.
Gina Chrisanthopoulos, known as Little G is a remarkable hip-hop artist whose verse is inspired by her Aboriginal and Greek background.
I am to publish a collection of poetry from second-generation Greek-Australians and to include both established and emerging poets.
My hope is that such a publication, when it sees the light of day, will be a testament to the unique experiences and perspectives of our generation, forever caught between two, three or more cultural identities.
I provide one poem that such an anthology may include among a plurality of Greek Australian poetic voices, styles and themes.
Dr Nick Trakakis is a lecturer in Philosophy and Religion at Monash University and Deakin University with a passion for literature (especially poetry), the visual arts, music and theatre.
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