In 2019 I interviewed Dimitris Lyacos on the occasion of the US tour/launch of his trilogy, Poena Damni, which had been recently released in the English complete edition. When we met, he had just read for the inmates of a few Arizona prisons. He had also visited for the first time Los Angeles’s “Skid Row,” which reviewers of his work had compared, on occasion, to the setting of his second book, With the People from the Bridge. [...]
Dimitris Lyacos’s cross-genre trilogy Poena Damni is among the most well-received pieces of contemporary European literature ...
Dimitris Lyacos’s cross-genre trilogy Poena Damni is among the most well-received pieces of contemporary European literature. Revised and rewritten over a period of three decades, the trilogy is currently translated into twenty languages with the English Box Set Edition having appeared in 2018, when Lyacos was also mentioned for the Nobel Prize. [...]
Excerpt in various languages published in Specimen Magazine - The Babel Review of Translations
In the fall of 2018, Shoestring Press finally released Shorsha Sullivan’s English translation of the complete trilogy. This past spring, Lyacos went on a US signing tour, culminating with a reading in Los Angeles at Beyond Baroque on May 30. That is where I had the pleasure of meeting him. As we sat on a staircase waiting for the event to begin, an interesting conversation was sparked. The interview that follows was born of that informal exchange, which continued via email
A Dissociated Locus: Dimitris Lyacos Interviewed by Andrew Barrett - BOMB Magazine. The writer of the Poena Damni trilogy on analytic philosophy, polyphonous narrators, and alternate consciousness.
Your work has been widely characterised as “genre-defying”, “avant-garde” and “postmodern”, engaging with major narratives of the Western Canon and utilising fragmentation. In the epigraph to your third book in your Poena Damni trilogy, The First Death, you quote Hodges: “Nothing in this book is original, except perhaps by mistake”. Can you comment on how this relates to your writing?
Your name appears on various lists of postmodern literature, among others, in the new edition of Fran Mason’s Historical Dictionary of Postmodernist Literature and Theater. In fact, you are the only Greek author included in a volume spanning more than half a century of postmodernism. In the “Lyacos” entry of the dictionary, your work is classified as late modernist/postmodernist and you are also mentioned in the preface as a postmodernist author ...
Z213: EXCERPTS IN GERMAN/RUMANIAN ANTHOLOGY KLAK VERLAG, BERLIN/TIMISOARA, RUMANIA
A feature on Dimitris Lyacos trilogy in the Journal of Poetics Research including a wide selection of excerpts and an article by Robert Zaller. October 2017, Sydney, Australia.
Omnibus. A selection of excerpts translated in Spanish by Javier Aldabalde and Marcelo de Maio. Granada, March 2017.
Asymptote Journal. An excerpt from Z213: EXIT (Second Revised Edition). English translation accompanied by Greek original and audio version. October 2016
Greek Avant Garde Poetry. Collected and Edited by Panos Bosnakis. Big Bridge Magazine, Autumn 2016.
Dimitris Lyacos interviewed by John Taylor in the New Walk Magazine, issue 12, May 2016
Levure Litteraire. A selection of exerpts from the Poena Damni trilogy in the Greek original and translations in four languages. Issue 12, May 2016
The Bitter Oleander Journal, Issue 22, Vol. 1, Spring 2016, New York
Dimitris Lyacos (b. 1966) is a contemporary Greek poet and playwright. He is the author of the Poena Damni trilogy. Renowned for its genre-defying form and the avant-garde combination of themes from literary tradition with elements from ritual, religion, philosophy and anthropology, Lyacos’s work reexamines grand narratives in the context of some of the enduring motifs of the Western Canon. Poena Damni, [...]
Σ. Δόικας: Θα έλεγε κανείς ότι το έργο σου εντάσσεται στο πλαίσιο του μεταμοντέρνου καθώς εμπεριέχει στοιχεία όπως η αποσπασματικότητα, το εφήμερο, η ασυνέχεια, η αποδόμηση της γλώσσας και των κωδικών επικοινωνίας, η κατακερματισμένη αίσθηση ταυτότητας. Αισθάνεσαι ότι ανήκεις στο ευρύτερο πλαίσιο του μεταμοντερνισμού;
Δ. Λυάκος: Για να ξεκινησουμε και λιγο αστειευομενοι, κανονικα δεν πρεπει να απαντησω σε αυτη την ερωτηση, η μαλλον δεν πρεπει να απαντησω κανονικα σε αυτη την ερωτηση. Εν οψει του θανατου του συγγραφεα θα σου ελεγε ο Barthes, ο Λυακος δεν εχει καμια προτεραιοτητα εναντι κανενος αλλου αναγνωστη να ερμηνευσει και να κατηγοριοποιησει το κειμενο. Αν καταλαβαινω καλα, αυτο εννοεις οταν με ρωτας αν ανηκω, προφανως εννοεις αν ανηκει το κειμενο. Το να ανηκα «εγω» στο μεταμοντερνισμο θα σημαινε οτι εργαζομαι συνειδητα με σκοπο τη συγγραφη βιβλιων που θα εμπιπτουν στην κατηγορια του μεταμοντερνου – αυτο φυσικα δεν μπορει να ισχυει, και ουτε χαιρομαι, η λυπαμαι οταν η κριτικη συνδεει η κατηγοριοποιει τα βιβλια μου κατ’ αυτο τον τροπο. Οι κριτικες που διαβαζω διιστανται, καποιοι μιλουν για μεταμοντερνισμο, καποιοι αλλοι για επιστροφη του High Modernism. Ειλικρινα αυτες οι κατηγοριοποιησεις μου θυμιζουν την εμμονη της σκεψης με την αναζητηση ταυτοτητων και ετεροκαθορισμων που περιεγραφε ο Adorno.
Me tous anthropous apo ti gefyra (With the people from the bridge), excerpt p. 48 of the English edition, in Unfollow Magazine, Issue 46, October 2015 Athens, Greece
A selection of excerpts from the Poena Damni trilogy, translated in Spanish translation by Alessandro Lo Coco. Madrid, Spain, October 2015
It can seem all too rare to come across poetry as ambitious and exciting as that of Dimitris Lyacos. His work exists at the intersection of the classical and the postmodern, the poetic and the dramatic, free verse and form. Exploring relationships with death, resurrection, and memory, to name just a few, Lyacos creates a dystopic epic for the modern world – not a post-apocalyptic adventure, but rather an exploration of a world hauntingly similar to our own. This is poetry that makes you think as well as feel. Poetry as finely layered as mica; each (re)reading an unveiling.
Trafika Europe. Excerpt from With the people from the bridge. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, March 2015
Excerpts 1 and 5 in The Bitter Oleander Journal, Volume 21, Number 1. Spring 2015 New York
ALPIALDELAPALABRA. Excerpts from Poena Damni in Spanish translation.
Excerpt from Z213: EXIT translated in Bengali by Arjun Bandyopadhyay in Baak Magazine
International Writing Program, University of Iowa. Excerpts from Poena Damni including first draft publication of "With the People from the Bridge"
THE GREEN DOOR. Various excerpts from Z213:EXIT and The First Death. Illustrated by Sylvie Proidl. The Green Door, Issue 8, Ghent Belgium 2012
A Arte de Traduzir Poena DamniUma Nota sobre Traduzir a Trilogia de Dimitris Lyacospor Shorsha Sullivan tradução de Eduardo Miranda
TUDA Magazine. Excerpt from Nyctivoe translated in Portuguese by Eduardo Miranda. October 2011
Z213: Exit, Extract 16 in The National Herald, Issue 688, December 2010, New York
Reconstruction (extracts 1, 2 from Z213: Exit in Greek original and English translation), October 2010
Famous poets and poems (translation of extract 5 from Z213: Exit)
Eyewear (translation of extract 7 from Z213: Exit)
Nth Position (translation of extract 5 from Z213: Exit as a previous draft)
Othervoices Poetry Project(extracts 2 and 3 from Z213: Exit in English translation). May 2009.
Poeticanet (translations of extracts 6 and 8 from Z213: Exit).
Der Erste Tod, XIII, Belletristik, Ausgabe 06, Berlin 2008
Snr Review (English translation of extracts 13,14,15 from Z213: Exit)
Z213: Exit Extract 5, in Absinthe New European Writing, Issue 8, Autumn 2007, MI USA
Poetrybay (English translation of extract 9 from Z213:Exit)
Segue (Extracts 10,11,12 are also published in Segue, University of Miami, followed by an interview with the author)
Z213: Exit, Extract 1, 2 in Bordercrossing Berlin, Issue 1, Berlin 2007
Z213: Exit Extract 16, Arabesques Review, printed edition, Winter 2006, Algiers.
Poetrysz (English translation of extracts 11,12 from Z213: Exit)
Mg Version Datura (English translation of extract 10 from Z213: Exit)
Page 9 (1986) and 11,13 (1989) in "il Portolano" n. 4 October-December 1995, Florence, Italy. Italian translation by Dr. Emanuela Perrone.
The first death IV-V, in "Γραφή" n. 30, Larissa Spring 1995.The first death II-III, in "Ευθύνη" n. 284 Athens August 1995