Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry by Karen Van Dyck

By Karen Van Dyck

'I take into accout caresses, kisses, touching
each other's hair. We had no feel that
anything else existed'
- Elena Penga, 'Heads'

'Nothing, no longer even the drowning of a child
Stops the perpetual movement of the world'
- Stamatis Polenakis, 'Elegy'

Since the problem hit in 2008, Greece has performed host to a cultural renaissance in contrast to something obvious within the kingdom for over thirty years. Poems of startling intensity and originality are being written through local Greeks, émigrés and migrants alike. They grapple with the non-public and the political; with the small revelations of gardening and the viciousness of streetfights; with our bodies, love, fantasy, migration and fiscal crisis.

In Austerity Measures, some of the best of the writing to emerge from that artistic ferment - a lot of it by no means ahead of translated into English - is accumulated for the 1st time. the result's a map to the complicated territory of a still-evolving scene - and a different window onto the lived adventure of Greek society now.

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