Dimitris Lyacos & Lili Bita

SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 7pm – POETRY
DIMITRIS LYACOS & LILI BITA

Dimitris Lyacos was born in Athens in 1966. He studied Law at the University of Athens and Philosophy at University College London. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: EXIT, Nyctivoe, The First Death), written over the course of eighteen years, has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been the subject of readings in several European countries as well as the United States. An audio-visual installation based on Nyctivoe made its debut in London and was thereafter hosted by a variety of prestigious European venues throughout 2005, while a contemporary dance performance based on the same work was staged in Greece in 2006-2007. The trilogy has also become the attention of academic research, among others by the universities of Miami, Amsterdam, Trieste and Oxford. Excerpts have been published by numerous literary periodicals, principally English-speaking, throughout the world. Z213: EXIT, translated by Shorsha Sullivan, appeared last month in the UK published by Shoestring Press.
“Lyacos brings to bear a formidable culture in which fragments of ancient Greek are embedded in a supple modern idiom, and a variety of classical and biblical references are seamlessly integrated into the text. (Nothing in this book is original, Lyacos says slyly, except perhaps by mistake, a remark that is itself a quotation.)” Robert Zaller – Recent Translations from Shoestring Press. Journal of Modern Greek Studies.

Lili Bita was born on the island of Zante (Zakynthos). She graduated from the Greek Conservatory of Athens and the Athens School of Drama, and performed on the Athens stage and with leading Greek repertory companies. In 1957 she emigrated to the Federal Republic of West Germany, and in 1959 to the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1969. She earned an M.A in Drama from the University of Miami in 1978. Bita has pursued a dual career in the United States as actress and author, notably with her one-woman shows “The Greek Woman Through the Ages” and “Freedom or Death”. She has taught at numerous American universities, most recently at Villanova University (1989-91). In 1987-88 she was Artist in Residence at Drexel University. In 1995 she toured India under the auspices of the Greek government, and returned there as part of the World Shakespeare Conference in 2002. She has offered master classes on the art of drama in more than fifty American universities. Her verse has been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, and Bengali. Early in her career, Anaïs Nin wrote of her: “Lili Bita fulfills her promise. . . . Her words are strong, body and soul in balance. Her vision is direct, unifying and complete.”

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