|Manolis||Nostos and Algos|
In Nostos and Algos a mature poet tells a simple story, yet underlying it all is a tension formed by intense and captivating images. This collection, Manolis’s best so far, is full of the subtle and the unexpected — you are left to imagine what might occur. There is a sense of expectation in many of the poems, and this keeps them from feeling dry or overwrought. Most fascinating is how Manolis captures a sense of motion just before that motion begins, almost an anticipation of a gesture. His work is rich and evocative and tugs at something deep within the reader: poetry that reveals the observer of life’s roots searching for the meaning of beauty and pain, the endless longing of the human heart for a place to belong to, a pendulum between nostalgia for the abandoned birthplace and assimilation in the new land, a mixture of pleasures and tears. His voice echoes amid the labyrinths of inexplicable senses. Some metaphors are like a panel of dreams taken from reality. Nostos and Algos is a collection that requires some meditation to best enjoy. The glimpses of human nature throughout combine to create a pensive mood that at the same time liberates and enchants the reader with images of days past and days present.
deep ground of Manolis’s poetry is an ancient music that is the source of
all great poetry, and within the context of these poems the shades of Anacreon
and Neruda are ever present.
Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) was born in the small village Kolibari west of Chania on the Greek island of Crete in 1947. At a young age his family moved first to Thessaloniki and then to Athens where he was educated, achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences at the Panteion University of Athens. He served in the armed forces for two years, and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked in several different jobs over the years. He attended Simon Fraser University for a year, taking English Literature in a non-degree program. He has written three novels and a large number of collections of poetry, which are slowly appearing as published works. Various articles, poems and short stories in Greek as well as in English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Australia and Greece. After working as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver and stock broker, he now lives in White Rock where he spends his time writing, gardening and traveling. In 2006 he founded Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company in Surrey, BC with the goal of publishing literary books.
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