Nanos Valaoritis

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Contact Information
Artist bio
Ioannis (Nanos) Valaoritis, (5 July 1921 – 12 September 2019) was a Greek writer, widely published as a poet, novelist and playwright since 1939; his correspondence with George Seferis (Allilographia 1945-1968, Ypsilon, Athens 2004) was a bestseller. Raised within a cosmopolitan family with roots in the Greek War of Independence but twice driven into exile by events, Valaoritis lived in Greece, the United Kingdom, France and the United States, and as a writer and academic he played a significant role in introducing the literary idioms of each country to the rest. (Wikipedia excerpt)
Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1921. Studied Classics and Law in the University of Athens, English literature at London University, and followed courses of Mycenian Grammar with Michel Lejeune. at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes of the Sorbonne. From 1944-1953, in London translated and presented, Modernist Greek poets of the thirties for the first time more completely, (article in Cyril Connolly’s “Horizon” 1946 & translations John Lehmann’s “New Writing” 1944-48. Edited and translated ” The King of Asine” 1948 a selection of poems by George Seferis with Bernard Spencer and Lawrence Durrel. Introduction by Rex Warner). Met T.S. Eliot, Stephen Spender, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, worked for Louis MacNeice in the BBC and frequented many other poets and writers. In 1954, moved to Paris, met Andre Breton, and participated in the activities and meetings of his Surrealist group until 1960. Returned to Greece, in 1960 and edited the avant-garde review “Pali” 1963-1967. Left Greece in 1968, after the Junta came to power in 1967. Taught at San Francisco State University, Creative Writing and Comparative Literature. Returned to Paris and Greece in 1976-78, on leave. Resumed teaching at SFSU 1978 until 1993, when he retired. Co-edited in Greece the literary review ” Synteleia” (End of Time), with poet Andreas Pagoulatos. Wrote a number of books of poetic proses, a novella, and four novels. Among them “My afterlife Guaranteed” in English, City Lights 1990, and in Greek 1995. Shared his time in Greece, France and California. Married to American Surrealist painter Marie Wilson. Read more here.
The Punishment of the Magi, 1947
Central Arcade, 1958 ( State Prize 1959 refused)
Anonymous Poem, 1974, 1978
Nests of Microbes, 1977
Hero of the Accidental, 1979
Feathery Confession, 1982
Poems, I & II (collected), 1983, 1987
The Bottom Line, 1984
The Coloured Stylograph, 1986
Anideograms, 1996
Sun, Executioner of a Green Thought, 1996
Allegorical Kassandra, 1998
Descent of the M., 2002
Alphabet of the deaf mute, poems, Angyra,2003
The Reopened Box of Pandora, poems, Angyra 2006
Hot House Flowers, Apopeira 2010
Letterbox of unrequited Letters, Ypsilon 2010
Vanilla coloured sky, Angyra 2011
Consacrations, Dekata 2011
Traitor of the Written Word, prose, Ikaros 1980
Diamond Tranquilliser, prose, Tram 1981
Some Women, Themelio 1982 (State Poetry Prize)
Bones of the Greeks, novel, Themelio 1982
The Assassination, novella, Themelio 1984
The Treasure of Xerxes, novel, Hestia 1984
The Talking Monkey, Aigokairos 1986
Paramythology (Three collected prose texts titles), Nefeli 1996.
God’s Dog, narratives, Kastaniotis 1998
The Broken Arms of the Venus de Milo, novel, Agra 2002
Did you Meet Elpiniki, Electra 2005
Diamond Earth, With Lithographs by Marie Wilson, Greek version, 2007
By Jupiter, novel, Electra 2009
4 Greek State Prizes for Literature
Poetry Prize 1959 for Central Arcade (refused),
Poetry, 1982
For Some Women, 1996
For Modernism, Avantgarde & Pali, A chronicle 2004
The Ouranis Foundation’s Academy Prize for his whole poetic work
The Grand State Prize for lifetime Literary Work 2009
American NEA Grant for Poetry 1980
American Poetry Society Prize
Andreas Embirikos, Ypsilon 1988
For a Theory of writing, Exantas 1990
Modernism, the Avantgarde and Pali, Kastaniotis 1997 (State prize for Memoir)
For a Theory of Writng II, (Articles essays on Surrealism), Electra 2006 Homer and the alphabet, Hellenic American Union 2011 Greek version, 2012 English version
English poetry
Hired Hieroglyphs, 1970
Kayak, Diplomatic Relations, Panjandrum 1971
Flash Bloom, Wire Press 1980
My Afterlife Guaranteed, City Lights 1990
Pandemonium, Washington State, Philos Press 2005
Poetry in French (translations)
Mon Certificat d’ Eternite, Digraphe 1996
Paris Executeur d’ une Pensee Verte, 1998
L’Harmattan, Paris, Anideograms 1960
Terre de Diamant, 1959
La Boite de Pandore, 2008
L’Harmattan, Paris
Hot House Flowers, Apopeira 2010
Letterbox of unrequited Letters, Ypsilon 2010
Vanilla coloured sky, Angyra 2011
Consacrations, Dekata 2011
Homer and the alphabet, Hellenic American Union 2011
For a Theory of Writing III
Translations (editing)
Anthology of Modern Greek Poetry,with Thanassis Maskaleris, Allegro Shartz & others, Talisman House Publishers 2003