Emigre

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Manolis Aligizakis,
Canada

I held my youth like a knife
sharpened by the sun,
by the smooth sirocco
and I cut myself in two

left half with the statues,
the gleaming sea
placed the other
in the suitcase with
four pairs of underwear

with my undeciphered dream and
with hands still fragrant in
the pumice rock of Santorini,
in the Theodorakis song and
in my wine glass half filled
I chose to live in two places

but since I found this impossible
I severed part of myself
from the other and
for the benefit of a full stomach
I retained the betrayed sunset
and the disheartening nostalgia

Manolis Aligizakis,
Canada

 

About Aligizakis Manolis

Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet and author. He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Master’s for the Arts in Literature. He is recognized for his ability to convey images and thoughts in a rich and evocative way that tugs at something deep within the reader. Born in the village of Kolibari on the island of Crete in 1947, he moved with his family at a young age to Thessaloniki and then to Athens, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences from the Panteion University of Athens. After graduation, he served in the armed forces for two years and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver, and stock broker, and studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University. He has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry, which are steadily being released as published works. His articles, poems and short stories in both Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, and Greece. He now lives in White Rock, where he spends his time writing, gardening, traveling, and heading Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company which he founded in 2006 with the mission of publishing literary books.

Distinguished Awards

  • 1st International Poetry Prize for his translation of “George Seferis-Collected Poems”, 2013
  • Master of the Arts in Literature, International Arts Academy, 2013
  • 1st Prize for poetry, 7th Volos poetry Competition, 2012
  • Honorary instructor and fellow, International Arts Academy, 2012
  • 2nd Prize for short story, Interartia festival, 2012
  • 2nd Prize for Poetry, Interartia Festival, 2012
  • 2nd Prize for poetry, Interartia Festival, 2011
  • 3rd prize for short stories, Interartia Festival, 2011

 

Books by Manolis

Ubermensch/Υπεράνθρωπος, poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2013

Mythography, paintings and poetry, Libros Libertad, 2012

Nostos and Algos, poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2012

Vortex, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2011

The Circle, novel, Libros Libertad, 2011

Vernal Equinox, poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2011

Opera Bufa, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2010

Vespers, poetry by Manolis paintings by Ken Kirkby, Libros Libertad, 2010

Triptych, poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2010

Nuances, poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2009

Rendition, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2009

Impulses, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2009

Troglodytes, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2008

Petros Spathis, novel, Libros Libertad, 2008

El Greco, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2007

Path of Thorns, poetry, Libros Libertad, 2006

Footprints in Sandstone, poetry, Authorhouse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2006

The Orphans - an Anthology, poetry, Authorhouse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2005

 

 

Translations by Manolis

Yannis Ritsos-Selected Poems, Ekstasis Editions, 2013

Cloe and Alexandra-Selected Poems, Libros Libertad, 2013

George Seferis-Collected Poems, Libros Libertad, 2012

Yannis Ritsos-Poems, Libros Libertad, 2010

Constantine P. Cafavy - Poems, Libros Libertad, 2008

Cavafy-Selected Poems, Ekstasis Editions, 2011

 

 

Books in other languages

Nostos si Algos, (Romanian) poetry, DELLART, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2013

Tolmires Anatasis, (Greek) poetry, GAVRIILIDIS EDITIONS, Athens, Greece, 2013

Filloroes, (Greek ) poetry, ENEKEN PUBLICATIONS, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2013

Earini Isimeria, (Greek) poetry, ENEKEN PUBLICATIONS, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2011

Stratis o Roukounas, (Greek) novel, MAVRIDIS EDITIONS, Athens, Greece, 1981

 

Magazines

Canadian Fiction Magazine—Victoria, BC

Pacific Rim Review of Books—Victoria, BC

Canadian Poetry Review—Victoria, BC

Monday Poem, Leaf Press-Lantzville, BC

The Broadkill Review, Milton, Delaware

Ekeken, Thessaloniki, Greece

Envolimon, Beotia, Greece

Annual Literary Review, Athens, Greece

Stigmes, Crete, Greece

Apodimi Krites, Crete, Greece

Patris, Crete, Greece

Nyxta-Mera, Chania, Greece

Wallflowers, Thessaloniki, Greece

Diasporic Literature Spot, Melbourne, Australia

Black Sheep Dances, California, USA

Diasporic Literature Magazine, Melbourne, Australia

Spotlight on the Arts, Surrey, BC

Barnwood, International Poetry Magazine, Seattle, USA

Unrorean, University of Maine, Farmington, Maine, USA

Vakhikon, Athens, Greece

Paremvasi, Kozani, Greece

Szoros Ko, Bratislava, Slovakia

Mediterranean Poetry, Sweden

Apostaktirio, Athens, Greece

Life and Art, Athens, Greece

Logos and Images, Athens, Greece

Contemporary Writers and Thinkers, Athens, Greece

Palinodiae, Athens, Greece

Royal City Poet’s Anthology, 2013, New Westminster, BC, Canada

To parathyro, Paris, France
Canada, English, Literature, Poetry, Romantic Poetry, , , , Permalink

2 Responses to Emigre

  1. Morgan Gabrielle says:

    Manolis, a brilliant work. Your poem really resounds with me after only visiting Greece on one occasion. The duality of feeling and place is really felt. Love your choice of words, ‘betrayed sunlight’ and ‘I held my youth like a knife.’ I will read more or your stunning writing..
    Many thanks. Gabrielle.

    • Manolis Aligizakis says:

      Gabrielle, thank you so much. The best reward a poet can have is comments such as yours. Please talk to me at anytime, and, yes, let me know when a poem touches you in any way!

      Manolis

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