Karen Van Dyck

Austerity Measures

(Penguin)

Our winning book is a beautifully and thoughtfully produced anthology of contemporary Greek poetry, printed with both the Greek and English versions on adjacent pages. This is a revelatory volume: refreshing, young, relevant, political, lyrical, comic. It speaks both to the Greek crisis and also to life beyond the crisis. As Karen Van Dyck, the editor, says in her introduction to the volume, “When there is less to go around, people fight, grab, get tough… But poetry, though, is one thing there is more of. Much more”. Van Dyck meticulously researched and collected poems not only from mainstream publishers in Athens and Thessaloniki but also from marginal literary journals, blogs, underground performance and graffiti poetry, from Greek expats abroad and from non-Greek immigrants or refugees in Greece. The result is an excitingly diverse, vibrant and grittily optimistic collection which shows the dynamism of Greece both despite and because of the crisis. 

– Jennifer Wallace