Michael Marks Poets in Residence Program at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, Greece

The Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies is based in Nafplio, Greece. In 2009, in collaboration with the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, it created the ‘Michael Marks Poets in Residence’ program. Since then, UK poets who have won either the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets or, from 2019, the Michael Marks Poetry in a Celtic Language Award, have participated in the ‘Michael Marks Poets in Residence Program’ at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece. As resident poets, winners spend two weeks between historic Nafplio, Olympia, Delphi, and Athens, visiting and learning about these sites of interest and participating in local cultural activities.

From 2014 until 2017, the program was linked with the poetry and translation ‘Paros Symposium’ held every summer in Athens. The scope of the UK poets’ participation in the translation symposium was to enhance their opportunities to meet fellow artists and translators from Greece and elsewhere, including the USA, share views and experiences and participate in cultural events.

Starting from 2019, the Poets in Residence Program has been re-structured, in liaison with the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA)-CHS ‘Spring Break in Greece’ travel study program, led by Professor Gregory Nagy. The award-winning UK poets arrive in Nafplio in March, where they participate in several cultural activities and meet with renowned and aspiring Greek poets. After a few days, they join the HAA-CHS travel study program for a week. Starting from Nafplio and Mycenae, the group crosses the Peloponnese to Olympia, they continue their travel to Delphi and then head to Athens and delve into this part of Greece and its unique history, supplementing their explorations with selected readings in translation from Homer, Pausanias, and even some modern texts.

The scope of the Center is to continue expanding the range of activities of the Poets in Residence Program and upgrading the poets’ overall experience while visiting in Greece.

Get acquainted with the winning poets and organisers of the Michael Marks Awards and Callum Macdonald Memorial Award who have participated in the programme:

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