From 1983 to 1988 I lived in the U.S.A. and traveled extensively in Europe, North and South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

Present Positions: Staff writer on cultural matters (book reviews, travelogues and essays) of the leading Greek newspaper  To Vima. I am its correspondent for Central Europe.


Political Sciences and Economics. Panteion University, Athens, and Philosophy in Thessaloniki.


Member of the board of the European Writers’ Council  (The Federation of European Writers)  from 1996 to 2000 and Vice-president from 2003 to 2008 (elected).

General editor of the Candidature File of Athens for the Olympic Games of 2004 and member of the organizing Committee Athens 2004.

Vice-president of the Hellenic Authors’ Society from 1996 to 1997

Founding member and Vice-president of the Greek Collecting Society of Literary Works (OSDEL).

Founding member and Vice-president (2013 - 2015) of the Poets Circle established in 2012.


Presentation and poetry reading in Greek and English at Harvard University. Under the auspices of the George Seferis Chair of Modern Greek Studies and the Poetry Room, Tuesday, April 19, 1988.

Presentations and readings at Vilenica Literary Festival, 1997, 1998, 1999.

Presentations of essays and readings at the 34th, 35th, 37th, and 38th of the International Meetings of Writers of the PEN International at Bled, Slovenia, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004

Frankfurt Book Fair 2001 (the year Greece was the guest country) as a member of the delegation of Greek writers.

Presentation and reading at the Museum of Mexico City (six Greek and six Mexican poets), 2000.

Litaraturexprees program, 2000. Readings in Madrid (Casa de Americas), Paris (National Library of France), Vilnius, Talin, and Berlin (Humboldt Universitat).  

Presentation and reading at Literatur House, Salzburg, 2001.

Writer in residence (one month) in Hong Kong Baptist University, International Writers Workshop (IWW) on The Sea and the Waterfront, October 2007. Readings, lectures, and panel discussions on Literature and Journalism with Pulitzer Prize winners Peter Arnett, Steve Stecklo, and others.

The Renmin University of China, International Poets’ Workshop, Beijing 2012. Lectures and readings. Also at Beijing University and Nankai University. 

House of Literature on the Greek island of Paros. International Symposium on What We Hold in Common (years 2006, 2007, 2008) hosted by IWP of Iowa University and the Fulbright Foundation.

IWP of Iowa University. Writing In and Beyond the City. An international gathering of poets and artists in Fez and Casablanca, Morocco, 2009.  

My bibliography includes twenty-four books, more than 1,000 articles, book reviews, essays, translations, and travelogues published in the leading Greek newspaper To Vima and many others in journals (Greece and abroad). My writings have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Latvian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, Slavo-Macedonian and Albanian. 














 More about author: 
First name:  ANASTASSIS
Last name:  VISTONITIS

In Greek


Metoikesia (Emigrating), 1972
Anichneftes (Stalkers), 1974
Alone (Poems to E.A. Poe), 1975
Tefres (Ashes), 1980
Edafos (Ground), 1981
Katagogi (Origins), 1984
Oi Kipoi tis Selinis (The Gardens of the Moon), 1990
Homa apo ourano (Sky-made Earth), 1996
O ilios stin tafro (The Sun on the Ditch), 2004
I esoteriki exoria (The Internal Exile). Poems 1971-1996, 2005
Ta roda tis Acherousias (The Roses of Acherusia Lake), 2008
Collected Poems, 2018


I krissi kai I katastoli (The Crisis and the Repression), 1986
Fasmata fthoras (Phantoms of Loss), 1994
To rodo kai o lotos (The Rose and the Lotus. A Travelogue to Beijing), 1995
I kiti tou hronou (The Cradle of Time. Places, Cities, People), 1999
Oi simees tou anachronismou (The Flags of Anachronism), 2003
To treno tis logotehnias (The Train of Literature), 2004
Ex Libris. Texts about the literature of the 20th century, 2006Logotehniki Geografia (Geography and Literature. Places, Cities, People), 2007
Oi mihanes tis Istorias (The Engines of History), 2013
Kato apo tin idia stegi (Under the Same Roof), 2017


O demonas ston kathrefti (The Daemon in the Mirror). Fifty poems of the Chinese poet Li Ho, with an introduction and notes, 2002
Amir Or, To Mouseio tou hronou (The Museum of Time). Selected Poems of the Israeli poet Amir Or, 2021. 
To rodo tou hronou (The Rose of Time). Selected Poems of the Chinese poet Bei Dao, 2021.

In English


Mara’s Shade. Selected Poems. Translated by David Connolly. With an introduction by Christopher Merril (director of the IWP of IOWA University and member of the board of the “National Endowment on the Humanities” of the USA, appointed by President Obama).  Tebot Bach, 2011

In German


Wellen des schwarzen Meeres. Selected Poems. Translated by Dadi Sideri-Speck. Waldgut, 2001

In Slavomacedonian


The Internal Exile. Selected Poems. Translated by Emiliya Majistorova. Struga Poetry Evenings (Pleades  edition), 2003

In Slovenian


Sonce na jarku. Selected Poems. Translated by Veno Taufer. Modena, 2004

In Serbian


Knjizevna Geografija (Literary Geography). Translated by Gaga Rosic. Geopoetika, 2008

In Hebrew


Selected Poems. Translated by Amir Or, 2016.

In Chinese


The Moon in the Glass (poems). Trilingual edition. (Greek, Chinese, and English). Translated by George O'Connell and Diana Shi. The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2019.

Selected publications in anthologies and journals abroad

In anthologies:

Egnatia 1958 (poem). Tranlated by John Chioles. Translation. The Journal of Literary Translation, volume XIV, New York, Spring 1985. Columbia University, pp 103-105.

Biography (poem). Translated by David Connolly. Greek Writers Today. An Anthology, volume 1, Athens, September 2003. Hellenic Authors’ Society, pp 338-340.

Justice and its Image (essay). The New Symposium. Poets and Writers on What We Hold in Common. An Anthology. Autumn Hill Books and 91st Meridian Books, Iowa City, IOWA, 2012, pp 181-190.

Eurydike (poem). Translated into German by Dadi Sideri Speck. Griechische Lyrik des 20Jahrhunderts. Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main und Leipzig, 2001, pp 208-209.

Die Zeit – eine Dunkelkammer (essay). Translated into German by Michaela Prinzinger. Europaexpress. Ein literarisches Reisebuch. Eichborn, Berlin 2001, pp 653-660.

Biografia, Cayo la lluvia (poems). Translated into Spanish by Jose A. Moreno Jurado. Antologia de la Poesia Griega (Desde el siglo XI hasta nuestros dias). Editiones Clasicas, Madrid 2000, pp 782-784.

Le cose, Enfin, Geometria della morte, For Annie, Fuorei luogo, Alone (poems). Translated into Italian by Crescenzio Sangiglio. Giovani poeti Greci. Forum/Quinta Generazione, Forli, 1984, pp 140-146.

An anthology of poems translated by Michel Volkovich and presented in the program "Les belles etrangeres" at Centre George Pombidou in Paris, 1989.

Le puits, Marco Polo, La nomination, Le bourreau, L’ accuse, Sans journaux, Printemps (poems). Translated by Marie-Laure Coulmin Koutsaftis.  Ce que signifient les Ithaques. 20 Poets grecs contemporains. Anthologie bilingue. Biennale Internationale des Poetes en Val-de-Marne, 2013, pp 188-201.

Ljubljana (essay). Translated into Slovenian by Klarisa M. Jovanovic. Zdaj pa: Ljubljana.  Beletrina, 2010, pp 213-216.

Medea (poem). Transcending the Reality and Matter. Poetry Collection of the Second Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival, China, 2009.

The faces of Janus (poems). Translated into Chinese by Wang Jaxin. In the textbook An Introductory Guide to World Modern Poetry. 21st Century Textbooks of General Education. Nankai University, Tanjin, China. 

In Journals:

Human Rights and the Mission of the Writer (essay) P.E.N International, vol.  51, no 2, 2001, pp 47-51.

Olympisches Feuer. Die Sprache des Korpers, der Glanz der Gotter, der Preis des Sieges (essay). Translated into German by Theo Votsos. Lettre international, Europas Kultur Zeitung, no 65, Berlin, 2004, pp 6-8.

Arkadien in Flammen (essay). Translated into German by Michaela Prinzinger. Lettre international, Europas Kultur Zeitung, no 78, Berlin 2007, p 129

Returning to Logos (essay). 2B, a Journal of Ideas, no 15, Chicago 1999, pp 144-146.

Angry Young People (in English and Hebrew), Haaretz newspaper and International Herald Tribune, Israel, Monday, 15 December 2008.

Returning to Logos (essay). Translated into Hebrew by Amir Or. Helicon, Anthological Journal of Contemporary Poetry, issue no 76, Tel-Aviv 2007, pp 76-77.

After the Battle (poem). Translated into Hebrew by Amir Or. Helicon, Anthological Journal of Contemporary Poetry, issue no 58, February 2004, page 66.

Pod isto streho (Under the Same Roof) (essay). Translated into Slovenian by Spela Brecelj. Sodobnost, volume 76, no 11, November 2012, pp 1331-1342.

Twenty Poems. Translated into Chinese with an introduction by Wang Jaxin. Hongyan, literary bimonthly, no 2, 2012.































Dodekanissou 30,
152 35 Vrilissia

Date of birth:  1952
Birth place:  Komotini
Abstract text: 


translated by Richard Burns and the author

* * *

The Garden of Selene

I was watching the moon rise on the sky
losing myself in that dark plateau 
and the sound of its shining came back to me
from the blue plain covering my childhood years.

In the whispering light from the house across the road
it’s me walking, and outside it’s autumn
returned like a dead man possessed to haunt the garden.

The soil of the old land rose up to my eyes
and I saw the hills encircled by fires 
and from the north, horses descending the slopes
with the reins of dusk
and mirrors reflecting from their golden eyes
and, after many years, once again the scent
of grass wounded in darkness.

Over the waste that opens to the depths of these houses 
the same sky reappears, a blue expanse
with its birds soaring and diving.


When birds drink water they see the wind
and the wind surveys the blue green plain
that mirrors the sky with its very own image,
its red ships, its flying fish,
its birds swimming over the soil,
its poplars nailed to the ground like banners of stony silver
billowing higher into the pulse of the breeze.


The night I left among musty fumes of trains
a damp image slithered over the window pane
and my thoughts went staggering off into darkness,
blind streetlamps along the tracks,
dark water cisterns in orchards and gardens,
one last glimpse of a ruined sentry post,
blackened grass on top of the pillbox
and, with rifle slung over his shoulder,
a guard patrolling under the moon.
In my face flickered a light like this one
now lengthening the shadows in this garden,
houses before me flashing past in the window
and high in the sky the city’s shadow
mirroring an image I hardly knew.

The past poured away like water
from the cracked jar of dreams.

Red and blue, the rocks on the mountains,
wings of birds and whispers of leaves,
diamonds of morning on the skyline
and along the paths wolves and deer 
picking their way beneath a constellation of stone.

Autumn a momentary sea 
bearing the ancient badge of the sun.


I was watching the moon rise on the sky,
many-notched disk of time,
eye escaped from some country of the blind –
tonight the moon will tell the story.
On one side of the wind the sea
and on the other a deserted plain.

In the sea the past rises and sets.


I don’t know if lightning is faster
than the wind. A stone in the garden is speaking
to the grass and the rising moon
is scattering silver calyxes into dark corners.

Playing with the light
in our eyes the world shrank.


I was watching the moon rise on the sky,
nymph of fire and ice.
Among its shadows the black tulip memory
opened petals of cloud
and images of forever bloomed.

Here my face is a blue mask 
far from the eyes of others, far 
from that darkened track. And here, I touch
the deepest part of myself, a mold that contains 
the damp casting of a breath of grass.
In this garden, just as on that old road,
faces pass at the far end
and the light vanishes with them 
along with the faint smile that renders time resplendent.

I among these and behind me clouds,
before me trees of water and crystal,
flocks of birds describing the air,
time multiplying itself,
the wind  widening space, 
I was watching the moon bring in the tide,
I watched the moon:
most radiant apple of the Hesperides.  

The evening sank into the river,
a half moon rose behind the grass,
wind blasted into the curtain rails,
and the window a dead crater
watched the shadow, watched the blind man,
the tobacco leaves drying in the shelter.

I am a part of all that I have met,
I am the star that jumps out of the boat,
the music that flows and billows in the mind,

the river’s dream and the mirror’s shadow.


Manhattan 1984

Huge river, river-shadows,
bridges over water gleaming,
cloud-swaddled moon –
buildings talking to the night.

Foundations as if in the sky,
red helicopters, high on winds,
imaginary wings lifting curtains,
opening on time, an emerald giant
among chasms, lakes and phantoms.

Headlights biting cold boulevards,
in gulfs above, in the skies’ depths,
in blues, reds, dark purples,
and in the mirroring moon, 
and steel grins, blackness is whitened,
and the island rolls into the ocean
sheds materials, discharges stone,
vomits forth yellow darknesses.

And stone is devoured with the mud in the waters,
with geometries, with ancient surveyors,
and compasses, sextants and rice-paper,
and night the iron emperor 
and tomorrow waving rags.

With fear and weeping, with crowds and myths,
with ash falling, with eyes looking up,
eyes that construct horizons.

Buildings shoot firebursts that spatter the void. 
The hours go by. The sea whitens.
A dawn of snow and ice will come,
the dawn of the ant, the dawn of the dead,
dawn of the black planet.

Old Stories

Once poets dreamed
of waters and diamonds, of tears and roses,
but in my sleep I see burnt cities
and the last rags of their inhabitants 
fluttering from gutted windows.

At this century’s end it’s difficult
to pass from day to dream, to the magic mountain
where the electric fireflies zoom.

No more is the foot of the devil cleft  
(as John Donne might have put it).
May the flow stop dead and the mouths of sound 
and the gates of fire and the diagrams 
of death be deadened.
May the earth’s magnetic field be reversed 
and a solar wind descends on all the parliaments.
May the garbage of the nations be dumped upon the scrapheap
And harbors without lights sink into the depths of night. 

May the mind’s motor be restarted by the sun.

We are the children of armed peace.
TV’s shine like stars in our living rooms.
Where do chaffinch, woodpecker and skylark belong?
May mist descend upon the mountains and the aerials.

Look at the universe if you’ll learn
the age of time.

In my sleep cities are burning,
their ashes glimmering like rabbit fur.
Yet I have longed for the red of the russet fox
who saw the fire and understood
that multiplication tables are nonsense and lies,
that our cities are mirrors of the mind,
haunted factories, blocks of the dead,
squares that have been buried by light
opening up into a vast trench –
in which who knows how many lie lost. 
By unwinding the spool backwards
you shall not find the beginning of the cosmos 
but the end of a darkened dream.

If the earth’s magnetic field is reversed
perhaps we shall even be able to fly
without wings without anchors
deep into the sea of stars
while far behind us will fade away
the Death Marches
the Lost Causes
the Realms of the Rat
the Lights of Auschwitz.

After the Battle


The battle raged on till the setting of the sun.
When darkness came they lay themselves down to sleep
the living alongside the dead 
and then they turned on their cool glaring searchlights.

Tatters of darkness were fluttering
in the dust raised up by the wind.

The sounds of a wedding waltz 
issued forth from the highest window.

The night was lit up
by a corpse in the ditch.

In the central square there landed
a firefly made of steel
out of which climbed Pylades
along with Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
In the eyes of the pilot I recognised Orestes
as he glanced up at the sky
and then later they all disappeared together
among the deathly pallor of the searchlights.

We lived beneath the star of death.
We ate black bread.
Leaden forests 
sprouted and thickened within our sleep 

Light, thick and filthy.
Days, of mud and insects.

The insects took control of our homes,
they founded empires in our bedrooms,
they invaded our cemeteries,
they stood guard over our dead,
they built their mausoleums in the earth’s bowels,
within the cities of Hades.

Out of the eye of water 
was born the sun.
I shall give you my voice,
I shall give you eyes and skin,
I shall speak to you with the voice of the hawk,
in the flight of the sparrow
and in the tok-tok of the woodpecker.

The enemy entered by the north gate.
The rites of surrender were fulfilled.
We handed over our flags, our keys and our women.

There were a great many of them.
We called them the Usurpers of Time.