One is a CROWD – Eftychia Panayiotou

Literature as a European mother tongue: In our series “One is a CROWD”, we introduce you to authors from all over Europe who will be involved in the CROWD omnibus reading tour, taking place from May to July 2016, featuring 100 authors who will be travelling through 15 European countries. We asked them three questions about text production, reception and mediation. In case you were wondering what a literary activist in Athens looks like, meet Eftychia Panayiotou!

Do you see yourself as an author? Are you the originator and main authority of your text? And if not, who is, if anyone at all?

Let’s say I am the reader, not the author. I am a reader decoding a meaningful but estranged language in a poem called forest. As a reader I get hold of any clues I can find, maybe left there by the author (e.g. historical/literary references). I think of the poem orally, as if it is the voice of a person, not a written text. It seems that whatever I do, each poem gets to decide on everything. Regardless of whether you become the author or the reader: first, you have to be  drawn by the poem.

Do you like readers’ comments and feedback to your texts? What could be the consequences of social editing?

I do find readers’ comments and feedback quite challenging, especially those that come from an audience not really acquainted with poetry. A spontaneous reaction, not necessarily an intellectual one, is telling; if you pay attention, listen carefully. It can also be disappointing (if it is an expression of pure admiration, or a random domestication of the text, both say that the poem doesn’t really matter). I am not sure whether readers’ reactions would change the way I write. Writing is a rather complicated process. But for me, poetry is also about affecting a reader in any way, now or then, in a life after life.

Which literary event has fascinated you most and why? (Please give a link to the website of the event)

Last Night a Poet Saved My Life (a monthly themed poetry event at Poem’s & Crimes Bar)

Poets on the decks, reverends of a mystical service. Amongst books, handwritten notes, typewriters and in an inconspicuous bar, a lyrically-charged musical atmosphere.

Anyone interested in partaking in a live reading of published poets’ works in the course of the evening should send in their pieces. Decisions will be based on select poems that best relate to the mood and direction of the evening.


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