National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Georgia Kolias

April is National Poetry Month. Welcome our friend, Poet Katie Aliferis, who has curated a month of poetry, featuring Greek-American writers. This week, meet Georgia Kolias.


 

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets

From Sappho to Ritsos, Greeks have always had a way with words. In celebration of National Poetry Month, we have collected some delightful and moving poems by contemporary Greek-American writers. We’ll spotlight a different writer each week. We hope you enjoy this series.

 

Curated by Katie Aliferis

Greek-American poet & writer Georgia Kolias
Greek-American writer Georgia Kolias

 

 

The Motherland by Georgia Kolias

I left the motherland

On September 12, 1965 at 11:05 p.m.

It was a Friday night

 

And for all intents and purposes

I was in San Francisco, California

United States of America

 

But as I emerged

 

I crossed a threshold

From the motherland into exile

Never to return

 

To that fertile land lush

With pulsations of

My mother’s heart

 

The heart of Greece

 

For below the gurgling of her intestines

The sound of her blood filtering

Through our placenta

 

Her voice resonated

Her tongue forming my

Sense of sound

 

With each swallow, tastes of

Honey walnut feta oregano lemon

Hardwired my taste buds

 

Her fingers tapping my back

In rhythm with the bouzouki and κλαρίνο

Taught my feet to dance

 

And through her eyes

Gazing longingly into the pictures

Of family 6756 miles away

 

She instilled in me sadness

An undying experience of

Exile

 

Before I left her body

I was already schooled

In the language of loss

 

Her grief for the motherland palpable

 

In each gulp of amniotic fluid

In each labored breath and sigh

In each reluctant step on new soil

 

She left the land and

She left me

Wandering this strange territory

 

Of divided loyalties

Searching for all time and zones

Without a map for the

 

Road home

 

Meet the poet

Georgia Kolias is a California-based writer currently shopping her manuscript, The Feasting Virgin, a culinary novel featuring a quirky Greek-American foodie who struggles to reconcile her religious beliefs with her emerging sexuality. She is also seeking publication for her poetry manuscript, The Motherland, a three-generation family biography which uses poetic text and original photographs to explore the themes of diaspora, homeland, and the evolution of family. She holds an MFA/MA in Creative Writing. She regularly blogs for The Huffington Post, and her work has appeared in the Advocate.com, The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, When Women Waken, and various anthologies. Georgia is represented by Rachael Dugas at Talcott Notch Literary Services. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.



Meet the curator

Greek American Poet Katie AliferisKatie Aliferis is a Greek-American poet from San Francisco, California. Her poetry has been featured in Φωνές, Silver Birch Press, sPARKLE & bLINK, Unbroken, and other literary anthologies, journals, and websites. Her favorite poems are Jane Hirshfield’s “The Lost Love Poems of Sappho” and C.P. Cavafy’s “Όταν Διεγείρονται” (“When Roused”). When not writing, Katie can be found reading, traveling, sipping mint tea, enjoying time with friends and family, and working in cancer research. Follow Katie on her website and Twitter.

 



Meet more Greek-American Poets:

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Apollo Papafrangou

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Georgia Bellas

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Alexandra Kostoulas

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