- TALKS & THOUGHTS
Discussion on Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Hommage on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
14 DEC 2016
Contemporary poets and critics will discuss the nature of the Sonnets, trying to find new insights into Shakespeare’s enigmatic poems.
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and in the context of the Onassis Cultural Centre’s homage to his work, prominent contemporary poets and critics will discuss the nature of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, their resonance in Shakespeare’s own plays and in today’s writing and thinking. Throughout the years the Sonnets have invited imitation, reverence and critique. Shakespeare’s sonnets are works that cross and challenge boundaries of love, friendship, gender, literary form and question what it means to be human. This discussion will try to find new insights into Shakespeare’s enigmatic poems.
Co-organized by the Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, the British Council Greece and the British Embassy Athens, under the programme Shakespeare Lives.
Fiona Benson, Ruth Padel
Fiona Benson (b. 1978 Wroughton) began keeping a poetry notebook at 17 on hearing that someone she knew wrote poetry. Suddenly, poetry “seemed permissible and possible”. She discovered Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson at this time. Although she considered becoming an actor or a lawyer, she says “poetry just gradually became the thing I depended on”. In 2006 Benson won an Eric Gregory Award and a Faber New Poets Award.
Ruth Padel is a British poet, novelist, conservatist, critic and author, first Writer in Residence at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. She teaches Poetry at Kings College London and has published nine poetry collections, a novel, and eight books of non-fiction including three on reading poetry. Her recent book The Mara Crossing/ ON MIGRATION is a mixed-genre meditation on migration in prose and poetry. Her awards include First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, a Cholmondeley Award from The Society of Authors, an Arts Council of England Writers’ Award and a British Council Darwin Now Research Award for her novel Where the Serpent Lives. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Member of the Bombay Natural History Society, Ambassador for New Networks for Nature, Patron of 21st-Century Tiger and Council Member of the Zoological Society of London.
Born in Athens in 1952, he studied Literature in the USA and at King’s College London. He has published poetry, essays and translations of poetry (Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare Sonnets etc.). For the theatre, he has translated Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days as well as several works by Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Othello, Pericles, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. Poems of his have been set to music by Nikos Xydakis, Dimitris Papadimitriou, Giorgos Christianakis, the “Diafana Krina” and others. He works at the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (MIET), whose director he has been since 1999. He teaches Literature at the National Theatre of Greece Drama School and sits on the Curatorial Council of the National Library of Greece. He has been a doctor honoris causa of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Philosophy Faculty since 2015.
The symposium will be held in English.
Entrance is free and on a first come, first served basis.
The distribution of entrance tickets begins one (1) hour before each event.