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The Scattered Papers of Penelope

New and Selected Poems
Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke; Edited by Karen Van Dyck
I wasn't weaving, I wasn't knitting


I was writing something


erasing and being erased


under the weight of the word


—from "Penelope Says"


Drawn from the traditions of Greek myth, history, and art, The Scattered Papers of Penelope is poet Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke's first full retrospective collection available in English. Translated from the Greek by an array of noted scholars, including the editor Karen Van Dyck, Anghelaki-Rooke's poetry is bold, sensual, and brash. She re-examines Greek history and myth through the female body—the bodies of Penelope and Helen and the poet's own body, scarred by illness. Other poems and sequences take the form of a journal kept during the first Gulf War, prose poems about modern violence and dictatorship, and lyric descriptions of the domestic world on the poet's home island of Aegina.


The Scattered Papers of Penelope introduces to American readers a major global poetic voice, a winner of the Greek National Prize for Poetry and the Greek Academy's Poetry Prize.


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The first full retrospective collection available in English from Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, a major global voice in poetry

About the Author

Katerina  Anghelaki-Rooke
Credit: Dimitris Yeros
Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke was born in Athens, Greece, in 1939. She is the author of eighteen books of poetry, including The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New and Selected Poems, and her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She won the Greek National Prize for Poetry in 1985 and the Greek Academy’s Poetry Prize in 2000. She divides her time between Athens and the island of Aegina.

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Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke was born in Athens, Greece. She studied foreign languages and literature at the universities of Athens, Nice (France) and Geneva (Switzerland), where she was graduated in 1962. She has received Ford Foundation Grants (1972 and 1975), was invited to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and was a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer in the United States (1980-1981), during which time she lectured on Modern Greek Poetry and Nikos Kazantzakis at Harvard. She has subsequently lectured on other dimensions of modern poetry and given public reading of her poetry in English and in Greek in the United States, Mexico, and Europe.  She won the 1985 Greek National Poetry Award for the Greek version of Beings and Things on Their Own.
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