Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's All Greek to Me, or My First and Only PoBiz Business Card

After having returned to Greece in 1973, one of the first things I did was get in touch with Kimon Friar, the foremost translator of modern Greek poetry into English. Madrona had previously published a number of his translations in issue number 6, and I also had a letter of introduction to him from his old friend, Leonie Adams, who'd taught one of my poetry classes at the University of Washington. At that time, I entertained ideas of perhaps devoting much of my creative energy and time to translating Greek poets into English and I needed some guidance on how to go about meeting these poets. I remember Kimon's kindness and interest during this first meeting in his flat at the foot of Lycabettus and his willingness to put me in touch with those poets he thought should be translated; I also remember his suggestion that I get a business card--I think he said something to the effect that everyone who is anybody over here has one! Though I never did much translation, I came upon a small printer's shop tucked away in a narrow street in the Exarchia district on one of my many walks through downtown Athens and promptly ordered two hundred business cards; this is one of the twenty or so left; this was also the printer who eventually produced 300 letterpress copies of Sentences in 1976.

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