woman holding up a masklike fiber structure before her face, elbows akimbo, onstage before an audience, text of a poem projected on wall at her back

Mazza Writer in Residence Phoebe Giannisi, introduced by and in conversation with Eleni Stecopoulos

Thursday, April 20, 2023
Event Time 04:00 p.m. - 06:00 p.m. PT
Cost Free and open to the public
Location The Poetry Center, Humanities 512, San Francisco State University
Contact Email poetry@sfsu.edu


  • Mask requested for in-person attendance
  • Tune in to the video livestream

The Poetry Center is honored to present outstanding poet, performer, and scholar Phoebe Giannisi, visiting from her home in Volos, Greece, as the Mazza Writer in Residence for Spring 2023. Giannisi's residency includes guest appearances in various classrooms at SF State, as well as two public events. The first of these will be a solo performance (in Greek and English) followed by a conversation with poet and scholar Eleni Stecopoulos and the audience. The second event, bringing Giannisi together with Bay Area poet and translator Brandon Brown, is indicated at the link below. Please join us on this rare visit to California by one of the most outstanding contemporary Greek poet/performers at work today. 

This event is free and open to the public.

The Mazza Writer in Residence series is supported by the Sam Mazza Foundation. 

Phoebe Giannisi is the author of eight books of poetry in Greek, including Ομηρικά, (Athens : Kedros, 2010), published in German and in English (Homerica, translated by Brian Sneeden, World Poetry Books, 2017). This book has been selected by Anne Carson as a favorite book of 2017 (“unusually excellent new poetry book from Greece, in unusually excellent translation”) in the Paris Review. In 2022 a second poetry collection, Cicada, has been published in English by New Directions, also translated by Brian Sneeden. Giannisi works on polyphonic and chimeric poetics, mixing genres and media. She performs poetry, creates sound works, videos and poetic installations. Her last 5 projects and books, in the field of eco-poetics, focus on animal poets and their connection to land, myth, gender, and human communities.

An architect by formation, Giannisi holds a PhD in Classics from Lyon II-Lumère (1994). She has also co-authored, with Alexander Tzonis, a monograph on ancient Greek architecture. A 2015–2016 Humanities Fellow of Columbia University, Giannisi is a founding member of the magazine [φρμκ]. In 2022 she was the first nominated Vakalo Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

She has contributed to several group shows including the Lyon Biennale (2009), Guggenheim New York (2013), Bauhaus Dessau (2015), Thessaloniki Biennale (2023). In 2010 she was co-curator for the Greek Pavilion of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia) with a project on biodiversity and seeds, entitled The Ark. Old Seeds for New Metropolitan Cultures. Her solo exhibitions incorporate her work in poetry and poetics: 2012-13. TETTIX, a poetic video/sound installation about the cicada, Museum of National Art (EMST) in Athens. 2015. AIGAI_O, a project about goat husbandry, Angeliki Chatzimichali Museum in Athens (with Iris Lycourioti). Based on this research, on October 2016, she presented her lecture performance Nomos_The Land Song at Onassis Center, New York.

Born in Athens, Giannisi is Professor of Architecture and Cultural Studies at the University of Thessaly, and lives in Volos, Greece.

Eleni Stecopoulos is the author of Visceral Poetics (2016), a hybrid work of criticism and autoethnography, and Armies of Compassion (2010), a poetry collection. Dreaming in the Fault Zone: A Poetics of Healing, begun in response to a series of performances and conversations curated with The Poetry Center and ending in the pandemic era, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books. Recent work has appeared in PamenarSecond Stutter, and in [φρμκ] Φάρμακο [Pharmako] translated into Greek by Phoebe Giannisi. In the last few years Stecopoulos has given invited talks at the Bureau for Experimental Ethnography, UT Austin; the MFA in Writing Program at UW Bothell; and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, U. of Chicago.

Related event: 

Phoebe Giannisi and Brandon Brown, at The Green Arcade


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