was instrumental in the establishment of the original Prize with its creator and sponsor John D. Criticos, as well as its current successor. In his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the London Hellenic Society, he has managed and co-ordinated the Prize from London and Athens since its inception in 1996.
After graduating from Athens College, he studied English and Comparative Literature (M.A., M.Phil., Columbia University) with special interests in classical Greek tragedy, Shakespeare and Renaissance theatre (on which subject he defended his Ph.D. dissertation) and modern poetry. He taught at Columbia (1976-8) and Athens College (1978-1980); wrote weekly for the literary pages of Athens daily Kathimerini (1978-88), and for the Independent (1985-95), as well as for several literary magazines in Athens (Tram, To Dendro, etc.).
Since 1982 he has been active in shipping and, in 1996, established Levant Maritime Company Ltd, which owned and successfully built in Japan dry-bulk vessels which incorporated innovative specifications and set a benchmark for international dry-bulk transport.
He has lived and worked in New York, Athens and (mostly) London for the past 35 years.
Michael studied Maritime Law in London and, for seven years (1988-95), was the representative of Greek shipping to NATO; he has always maintained a lively interest in international relations and ocean trade.
In addition to English, he speaks French, German and has translated from Russian the work of Joseph Brodsky, a dear friend whose poetry he published in Greece.
For the past 5 years he has worked closely with Souillac-based Sebastien Linard to plant and grow an organic walnut-tree farm in Artemision, northern Evia. Last autumn he was happy to take to market his first produce.
Married to Despina Fafalios since 1978, they have two children and have recently celebrated the birth of their first grandchild. The family always spend summers together on their native island of Chios.