VALAORITIS Nanos  - Greece
Poet, Author

Updated: 17-10-2012 09:47 | Artists

Nanos VALAORITIS, poet, author, translator, was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1921. 

Studied Classics and Law in the University of Athens, English literature at London University, and followed courses of  Mycenian Grammar with Michel Lejeune at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes of the Sorbonne.  

From 1944-1953, in London translated and presented, Modernist Greek poets of the thirties for the first time more completely, (article in Cyril Connolly's "Horizon" 1946 and translations John Lehmann's "New Writing" 1944-48.

Edited and translated "The King of Asine" 1948 a selection of poems by George Seferis with Bernard Spencer and Lawrence Durrel. (Introduction by Rex Warner).

Met T.S. Eliot, Stephen Spender, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, worked for Louis MacNeice in the BBC and frequented many other poets and writers.   

In 1954, moved to  Paris, met Andre Breton, and participated in the activities and meetings of  his Surrealist  group until 1960. 

Returned to Greece, in 1960 and edited the avantgarde review "Pali" 1963-1967. 

Left Greece in 1968, after the Junta came to power in 1967. 

Taught at San Francisco State University, Creative Writing and Comparative Literature.

Returned to Paris and Greece in 1976-78  on leave. 

Resumed teaching  at SFSU 1978 until 1993, when he retired. 

Co-edited  in Greece the literary review "Synteleia" (End of Time), with poet Andreas Pagoulatos. 

Wrote a number of  books of poetic proses, a novella, and four novels. 

Among them "My afterlife Guaranteed" in English, City Lights 1990, and in Greek 1995.   

Shares his time in Greece, France and California. 

Married to American Surrealist painter Marie Wilson.  





Poetry Prize for "Central Arcade", 1959  (refused) 

Poetry Prize for "Some Women", 1982

Prize Testomony & Chronicle, for  "Modernism, Avantgarde & Pali, A chronicle", 1996

The Ouranis Foundation’s Prize of the Athens Academy, for his  whole poetic work, 2006

The Grand State Prize for lifetime Literary Work, 2009.





The Punishment of the Magi (1947) 

Central Arcade (1958), ( State Prize 1959; refused)  

Anonymous Poem,  (1974, 1978)  

Nests of Microbes 1977 

Hero of the Accidental, 1979  

Feathery Confession, 1982 

Poems, I & II, (collected), 1983, 1987  

The Bottom Line, 1984 

The Coloured Stylograph, 1986   

Anideograms, 1996 

Sun, Executioner of a Green Thought, 1996  

Allegorical Kassandra, 1998

Descent of the M., 2002  

Alphabet of the deaf mute, Agyra, 2003 

The Reopened Box of  Pandora, 2006 Agyra 

Hot House Flowers, Apopeira 2010 

Letterbox of  unrequited  Letters, Ypsilon 2010

Vanilla coloured sky, Agyra 2011

Consacrations, Dekata 2011





Traitor of the Written Word,  Ikaros, 1980 

Diamond Tranquilliser, Tram 1981 

Some Women, Themelio 1982, (State Poetry Prize) 

Bones of the Greeks, novel 1982, Themelio 

The Assassination, 1984, novel,  Themelio,

The Treasure of  Xerxes, novel, Hestia1984  

The Talking Monkey, Aigokairos, 1986  

Paramythology (Three collected prose texts), Nefeli, 1996

God's Dog,  narratives, Kastaniotis, 1998 

The Broken Arms of the Venus de Milo, novel, Agra, 2002  

Did you Meet Elpiniki, Electra 2005 

Diamond Earth.  With Lithographs by Marie Wilson, Greek version 2007

By Jupiter, Electra, novel 2009.





Andreas Embirikos,  1988, Ypsilon 

For a Theory of writing, Exantas 1990  

Modernism, the Avantgarde  and Pali, Kastaniotis 1997 (State prize for Memoir) 

For a Theory of Writng II, (Articles essays on Surrealism) Electra 2006 

Homer and the alphabet,  Hellenic American Union, 2011 Greek version, 2012 English version






Hired Hieroglyphs, 1970, Kayak 

Diplomatic Relations, Panjandrum, 1971 

Flash Bloom, Wire Press, 1980 

My Afterlife Guaranteed, City Lights, 1990 

Pandemonium, Philos Press, Washington State, 2005.



POETRY IN FRENCH (translations):  


Terre de Diamant, 1959, Paris

Mon Certificat d' Eternite, Digraphe 1996, Paris  

Executeur d' une Pensee Verte, 1998, L'Harmattan, Paris 

Anideograms, L' Harmattan, 1996, Paris 

La Boite de Pandore, L’Harmattan, 2008, Paris.




Anthology of Modern Greek Poetry, with Thanassis Maskaleris, Allegro Shartz & others, Talisman House Publishers, 2003.


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