Thessaloniki, a bourgeoning metropolis in the north of Greece, has always been in the forefront of literary and linguistic innovation alongside (or sometimes in rivalry against) Athens. The city's rich history from antiquity through the Byzantium era, the Ottoman empire and modern times, has provided local writers with a varied multicultural backdrop for their work.
In recent years, writing in Thessaloniki has come to be associated with a flourishing prose scene that focuses on the mundane nature of everyday reality and adopts a distinctive narrative consciousness that has been termed: "internal monologue". Major figures were Giorgos Ioannou (1927-1984), Stelios Xefloudas (1902-1984), Nikos Gavriil Pentzikis (1908-1993), Nikos Bakolas (1927-1999) and others.
The poetry scene has been equally distinctive and since the early days of emblematic voices such as those of Dinos Christianopoulos (1931-), Manolis Anagnostakis (1925-2005) and Nikos Alexis Aslanoglou (1931-1996), has brought to the forefront groundbreaking new poets such as Vassilis Amanatidis (1970-). Thessaloniki enjoys a long tradition of influential literary journals with national distribution (such as Entefktirio) and a number of local publishing houses, bookshops and regular literary events.
THESSALONIKI ON WIKIPEDIA
'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.
Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.
At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.