More With A.E. Stallings, Titos Patrikios

BY Mary Jo Brooks  December 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM EST

A.E. Stallings is a poet and translator who has lived in Athens, Greece, for the last 13 years. Trained as a classicist, studying ancient Greek and Latin, she garnered much acclaim for her translation of the Roman philosopher Lecretius’ “The Nature of Things.”

Stallings’ own poetry has garnered several prizes, and in 2011 she was a recipient of a MacArthur “genius” award. Most recently she published a collection titled “Olives,” which includes poems about life — both ancient and modern — in her adopted home.

Stallings, who studied at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, is married to journalist John Psaropoulos. They have two young children and live in the heart of Athens.

In the web extra below, she reads “On a Greek Proverb,” which she wrote in response to the frequent question she gets from friends: “How long are you staying in Greece?”


Titos Patrikios is one of the leading poets of Greece. Born in 1928 to parents who were actors, he spent his first years in the United States as they toured with a Greek theater company. He returned to Greece, where he eventually studied law at the University of Athens and then philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Patrikios bore witness to much of Greece’s turbulence of the last century. He was active in the resistance movement against the German occupation during World War II and was tortured and jailed during the Greek civil war that followed.

According to Patrikios, poetry should have three main qualities: to bring people together, to help readers discover something new about themselves and to address and provide answers to problems that have gone unnoticed.

A comprehensive collection of Patriokios’ poetry was published in English in a volume titled “Lionsgate.” In these web extras, he reads two poems: “Lionsgate” and “Molyvos,” which is a village on the island of Lesbos where Patrikios owns a summer home. He’s written a series of poems about that area, which is rich in classical history.





Jeffrey Brown’s report from Greece on Tuesday’s NewsHour will be posted here soon.

For more poetry coverage, visit our Poetry Series page.