Thursday, March 03, 2016

Obituary Note: Australian Greek Poet Dimitris Tsaloumas

Shelf Awareness

Australian Greek poet Dimitris Tsaloumas, who won a National Book Council award for The Observatory and later the Patrick White award "for a writer deemed not to have been sufficiently recognized," died February 3, the Age reported. He was 94. 
Tsaloumas wrote in Greek and English, and many of his books were published by the University of Queensland Press. Former UQP general manager Laurie Muller called him "a man of two countries."
A Winter Journey, his most recent book, was published by Owl Publishing, where publisher Helen Nickas said Tsaloumas "was very warm and interested in everything. He was always very political and when he came back from Greece would describe to me the political situation there. But he wasn't divided between the two countries; he loved Australia. But he really wanted to live half the time here and half the time there. His poetry had an epigrammatic​ nature--he wanted to say as much as possible with the least amount of words."

The Age noted that his poem "Prodigal" could have been written about the current crisis in Greece:
It's time for parsimony and circumspection.
I told you before. We're going through
inhuman times. Even the banks will feel the pinch
and already many merchants scour
their dusty books for long-forgotten debts.
Take your children and head for the bush.

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