Irini Rinioti was born in Athens in 1964. She studied in the Humanities Department of the Hellenic Open University [Studies in Greek Civilization], then completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the same university.

She is a member of the Hellenic Authors’ Society, the Poets’ Circle and the Hellenic Centre of the International Theatre Institute as an actress.

She has published ten poetry collections. The last four are titled: The Bloom of Silence (2008), Vertigo (2011), Just a Ride (2016), for which she was awarded the Academy of Athens “Aikaterini Stathopoulou” 2017 Award, Red Line (2023). All of the above are published by Agra Publications.

Her poems, some of which have been set to music by Thanos Mikroutsikos, Manos Avarakis and Panayotis Konstantakopoulos, are included in anthologies and translated in various languages.

 More about author: 
First name:  IRINI
Last name:  RINIOTI


Nocturnal Confession (1986, 1988)
Of Winds and Storms (1988)
Scarlet Century (1990)
Exiled Light (1995, 1996), Lotus Publications
The Lady of the Stars (1997), To Rodakio Printing & Publishing Company
The Insobriety of Myths (2000), To Rodakio Printing & Publishing Company
The Bloom of Silence (2008), Agra Publications
Vertigo (2011), Agra Publications
Just a Ride (2016), Agra Publications
Red Line (2023) Agra Publication


Modern Chian Poetry. Anthology, Homer Cultural Centre of Chios (2004)
Anthology of Poetic Dialogues, Govostis Publishers (2015)
Daedalus. The Great Anthology of Contemporary Greek Literature, Hellenic  Authors Society (2016).
Sudden Fairy Tales, Efsyn (2017)
Microwaves. 99+1 micro-stories, Hellenic Authors Society (2019)
Anthology of the Hellenic Authors Society, Patakis (2020)
In our own Words, 24 grammmata Publications


Adoniadou 4, 185 39 Piraeus, Greece,

Date of birth:  1964
Birth place:  Piraeus
Abstract title:  Poems
Abstract text: 


The trawler reached the shore loaded with words. Allusive words
floundering ambiguity. All of them in shimmering shades to remind us of
the depths of poems. The fisherman smiled as he hopped ashore with
labyrinthine eyes, bare feet, his toes tracing denotations as they deftly
fondled the nets of meaning. He picked words one by one and, having
pulled out the panting gills and cast the red entrails overboard, he scraped
off the shimmer of sensation, sank them in salt, rinsed them in water and
arranged them, scaled and unrecognisable, in a basket of notions.

Then he turned to me and showed me their bodies, their sagging heads.
Without vision, words are not amphibian, he said, and goading me with
traces of irony, he commented: let’s see what sort of fish you can catch.
Let’s see if you can –without an ocean– make of these words a poem that floats.


The cypress bends, always bends. It splits the stonewall, drawing cracks on
the stone, applying daily pressure –with the help of the dead– to bring it
down. The roots are climbing up. They won’t stay underground. They cross
the darkness, soak up the aquifer, toss up the soil, kick up the slabs.


Those who lie in the shadow of the cypress never rest. They’re climbing  endlessly, 
stretching the tips of their fingers, rising on the tip of their toes till they
reach the light. Today I tripped on the knots of their sprawling hair that was
tangled wilfully in the roots.



Her hands flutter as they prepare breakfast in the kitchen, just before she
wakes the children touching their lids with her lashes. Then, unwavering,
she insulates the door cracks, wearing words on her skin, feeling the i blades
sink in her chest and the o curves tighten round her throat, with a tongue
that traces our faults in its startling cracks.

The room fills with daffodils bespeaking of neglect; one for each threat
while time the lioness turns on the gas and sticks her head in the oven,
lifting a paw to cross myriads of miles in a single moment.

Red Line, Agra Publications, 2023
Translation: Memi Katsoni


I want to give you a circle

To step on its circumference
and simultaneously look at
the world inside and outside

If you long for fire make of the circle a sun
If you choose solitude call it a moon
If you want to send a message use it as a sphere
If it is lust you feel take it in your teeth like a nipple

If you should choose demise, tie it around your neck


And we started drawing
ourselves in the gallows


For every wrong letter a limp

Every word a hanged man

It is how we learned to spell


It is daybreak
yet the hand is driven by night

A blind root
the depths which define me

Some dark blues entwined in the blackness
stumble around my tongue

The eyes: shutters that lock the sun

Outside the window
the light
shows me what I am not


Lying down on the shore for the lovemaking
do the lovers know
the history of the sand?

The sea receives in her gulf bay the rock
until the spasm of lust and anoints it

When desire is sated
when love’s passion is gone
she feels the rock’s roughness
and beats at it rabidly to pulverize it
till she spews it out in tiny bits on the coastline


No rest
for the soul in my daily body

Its limbs protruded
from the stretching rack
set up in the basement at home
where the family’s
accoutrements were kept
of blood’s culpability

for our pain to cut deep
when relationships snapped in two
and we hammered them back
with the bolts of obligation

to sustain the weight of the unforeseen
which was your due to bear

for the levelling of incongruities
so the gap wasn’t visible to the naked eye


With the help of my near and dear
I sawed back the wings
so they fit in the ephemeral

no longer to have to listen to how disturbing
the sound was of my rising up
every time I looked for sky
in a cradle of light
constructed with darkness


Death is playing outside our door

He flips his hand
tosses his palm
and feeds those who fall to the earth

I once slipped through his fingers
and love opened a parachute before I hit the ground


I’m balancing on thin legs
my tail colourful
my beak made of granite

I watch myself through the pane
alternately looking at my other form
and again bending over the desk

So I’m a bird and didn’t know it
So I have a chance of flying

But as I lean my beak down to the ground
I’m caught in its claws

In the claws of the cat that I am


The ship sailed off the painting
crossed the room
dropped anchor by the bed
sank into my dream
from where surfaces timidly
a poem bubble


The halo was too big for her
and it slipped into a noose around her neck

Her hand feverishly painted
while she dipped her gaze in the mirror

then with a jerky move
she kicked the stool from under her
and was left in mid-air


The patient will survive don’ t worry
We won’t lose him for now he’s holding fast

Only for vision to focus more sharply
squeeze every day at dawn
a few drops of lemon in the pupils
to help the gaze grow familiar with pain


I swim inside her womb
listening to the blood
eavesdropping on the heartbeat

A leaf greening from the root

Thus I met her, but
once torn away from her body
she was no longer nestling ground

Mother? I ask, she makes no answer

She tidies up the snow inside the house
and smiles at me


The bicycle shone in the sun

Just a small ride! I said

I can’t balance properly
but I dare take a fall to learn
If it is all I’ve ever learned

Desire every time
catches me unawares
as the saddle the pedals the wheel
get strewn in all directions

only the front light
stays on course


They told us: there is music here lights
Won’t you come in

But before we had our fill of play
the Ferris Wheel got stuck high up
and we had to leap into the void
to effect a landing

Do you feel the rings around your neck?

The target in the shooting gallery
is a forest of human hands
The carousel has grown dim
Its horses hungry
The train tears reason asunder
inside the ghost tunnel
Once out into the light
again we will forget

If you survive this madness
you see the meaning of distortion
by looking at yourself in the mirrors
As an alternative
there's a free ride on offer
on the Wall of Death

Just a Ride, Agra Publications, 2016
Translation: Konstantinos Matsoukas


The Academy of Athens “Aikaterini Stathopoulou” 2017 Award for the book Just a Ride, Agra 2016.

E-mail:  rinioti@yahoo.gr