A Greek Ballad


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Selected Poems

Michalis Ganas; Translated from the Greek by David Connolly and Joshua Barley

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A stunning collection that draws from four decades of verse by one of modern Greece’s most lauded poets

This is the first English-language collection of work by the renowned Greek poet Michális Ganás. Originally from a remote village on the northwest border of Greece, Ganás witnessed the Greek Civil War as a young child, and was taken into enforced exile in Eastern Europe with his family. Weaving together subtle references to the events and places that have defined his life’s story, Ganás’s terse and technically accomplished poems are a combination of folklore, autobiography, and recent history. Whether describing the mountains of his youth or the difficulties of acclimation in Athens of the 1960s and 1970s, Ganás’s writing is infused with striking and original imagery inspired by love, memory, and loss.
Featuring expert translations—made in collaboration with Ganás himself—by David Connolly and Joshua Barley, this volume also includes a scholarly introduction to the poet’s life and work.

Michális Ganás is an acclaimed Greek poet and lyricist living in Athens. David Connolly is an award-winning translator and former professor of translation studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloníki. Joshua Barley is a translator of Greek literature and a writer, based in Athens.

Praise for Michális Ganás
“Throughout his poetry we find the dashed hopes and ideals of his youth transformed into a stifled cry in the confined, peripheral Greece of the neighbourhood, the café and the football pitch.”—Kostas Papageorgiou, in The Generation of the 1970s

“Ganás draws on the full resources of modern Greek poetry in order to create his own voice. To read him is to be inspired to re-read a whole tradition through him...”— David Ricks, King’s College, London

“…with formal modes ranging from the epigram to the folksong to the prose poem, Ganás creates clear images that seem to refer constantly to some unspoken truth.”—Dimosthenis Kourtovik

“Sad yet ebullient poems . . . a comprehensive introduction to the poet’s work, and a snapshot of the political upheaval he experienced . . .  Ganás skillfully melds loss with love . . . a rich, rare view of a life spent in, or hoping to return, to Greece.”—Publishers Weekly

Received an honorable mention for the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize, sponsored by the Modern Language Association of America
ISBN: 9780300233346
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
328 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
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