Dimitrios I. Bafaloukos

ISBN 978-1-935244-17-2

About the Book

AVATON (> α privative + βαίνω=to walk; to march) in Greek means a place on which one cannot step foot, a place on which one cannot walk, hence an unapproachable and inaccessible place. In a religious context, it means a sacred, holy, and inviolable place, forbidden to the uninitiated.

In this collection of poems, Dimitrios Bafaloukos, with the precision of a surgeon, simultaneously wields brush and stylus, capturing moments of anguished love, which sometimes triumph beyond the wounds, and sometimes remain unfulfilled. With his own pen, he draws moments of profound love to immortalize Eros. His poems are amplified and illustrated by thirteen vivid paintings by artist Dimitris Mytaras in an innovative poetico-visual dialogue.

Praise for the Book

"An observer of life since childhood, prominent oncologist Dimitrios Bafaloukos wrote poems that operated therapeutically on his soul … by overcoming that soul’s avaton, an impediment commonly thought to render a mountain inaccessible or a roadway impassable … Yet no avaton relinquishes all its power. These poems, despite memorably overcoming so much secrecy and silence, convince us that our soul-lives will always remain inaccessible."
Peter A. Bien
Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, Dartmouth College

Avaton, Dimitrios I. Bafaloukos’s exquisite ekphrastic collection, inspired and accompanied by Dimitris Mytaras’s paintings and beautifully translated by Vassiliki Rapti, is a hymn to the sacred.”
Hélène Cardona
Award-winning author of Life in Suspension and Dreaming my Animal Selves

About the Author

Dimitrios I. Bafaloukos is an oncologist and poet in Athens, Greece. He has received 24 awards for his scientific and social work. His first poetry collection, entitled Mutations, was published in 2010 (Second edition 2014, Gavrielides Publishers). His second poetry collection, entitled Midnight Plus Something, in collaboration with D. Mytaras and M. Zolotakis, was published in 2014 (Gavrielides Publishers).

About the Translator

Vassiliki Rapti holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with an Emphasis in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis (2006) and was Preceptor in Modern Greek at Harvard University during the years 2008-2016. She is currently Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and Chair of the Ludics Seminar of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. In 2014 she founded the Advanced Training in Greek Poetry Translation Workshop, which she has run since then. She recently was appointed Director of "Literary Translations" of the international multi-disciplinary electronic literary review Levure Littéraire. She is the author of the monographs Ludics in Surrealist Theatre and Beyond (Ashgate, 2013) and Air, Water, Earth, Fire in the Poetry of Nikos Engonopoulos (Romi, 2015) and of several poetry collections including Transitorium (Somerset Hall Press, 2015).

About the Artist

Dimitris Mytaras studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Yannis Moralis, and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. He directed the Interior Decoration Workshop of the Doxiadis Technological Institute in Athens. He was appointed Professor at the A’ Painting Workshop of the Athens School of Fine Arts and became the Rector of the School. He held individual exhibitions both in Greece and abroad in venues including the National Gallery of Greece, the Theocharakis Foundation, the Chateua de Chénonceau (France), the Museum Millegorden (Stochholm, Sweden), and the Palazzo Vechio (Florence, Italy). He participated in international group shows, including the Venice and Sao Paolo Biennales, the Tokyo Expo, and many more. In 2008 he was elected Member of the Academy of Athens, and he received many other awards and distinctions including the Order of the Phoenix – Commander, the Golden Medal of the City of Chalkis, and the Harvard University Award for Greek Civilization. Mytaras died on February 2017 in Athens, Greece.