ATHENS – Internationally-acclaimed Greek poet Kiki Dimoula passed away on Saturday afternoon aged 89, after being hospitalized for respiratory and cardiac problems since February 2.
She will be buried at public expense, the Ministry of Culture announced. A date is pending.
Dimoula, whose poetry has been translated in several languages, was born in Athens in 1931 and lived there all her life. She was married to poet and civil engineer Athos Dimoulas and they had two children.
She worked at the Bank of Greece for 25 years, was elected regular member of the Athens Academy in 2002 and in 2015 was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s (UoTh) Theology Department.
She was honored for her work as early as 1972 (State Poetry Prize). In 2009 she received the European Literature Prize for the entire corpus of her work. The Academy of Athens also honored her for her work in 2001, while the same year then-President of Greece Kostis Stefanopoulos presented her with the Golden Cross of the Order of Honour.
In an autobiographical note she referred of her work as “having to hang from a butcher’s hook of strictness, to let the stereotypes (…) and added narcissism drain,” and messages of condolences by political leaders, academics and others reflected that her sparse, powerful poetry had withstood that test of time throughout.
Condolences were sent to her family by President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos (“Greek poetry lost is emblematic muse of international standing”), Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (“one of the greatest poetic voices of Greece”), President of the Hellenic Parliament Constantine Tassoulas (“great loss to modern Greek literature”), Culture Minister Lina Mendoni (“turned a great segment of Greek readers back to poetry”), and the UoTh (“the greatest female poet of modern Greece”). Parties and the mayor of Athens also sent condolences.
Read THN’s interview with Kiki Dimoula here.