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Manolis Aligizakis

The true poet enters all gates of perception including the real and the oneiric as the difference between the two is only that of intensity. The true poet can’t describe the tree without entering deep in the core of its trunk to listen to its music and its sobbing at the sight of the axe cutting its bark because anywhere the painter and the poet gaze dead matter is inexistent and the perceived inanimate matter is as alive as the human flesh. While past and present are perceived by both the painter and the poet at face value the inexistence of the present brings the concept of the potential to the foreground. As death vanishes in the creative process so does life by entering the realm of potentiality where one and one make two; and, adding two monads only creates a larger monad.

'It seems that my work, like yours, has less resonance or is less visible to Canadian audiences than it is to Europeans and those with European sensibility who have more sophisticated literary interests and a longer cultural memory than those who operate here with a more restrictive and less complex sense of what song and story are and how they got that way... .'

~George Amabile, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Each with his own weapons, he said, the poet

The true poet contemplates under both the gate of the abstract as well as the apparent because both are expressions of the same oneness differentiated only by the degree of attention and by the intensity of observance. He stands before the greatness of eternity, and humbly tries to scratch its epidermis, only to realize it's as easy to master it as it is to quench his thirst with a glass of cool water.

Talk to me of the defeated to understand the victorious. Craft me the colors of life that I perceive the definition of darkness. Verse for me the method to greatness that I learn the meaning of humbleness. Sing for me the tune of your beloved’s song that I grasp the rhythm of the universal music. Orate for our friends the verse of your heart that they contemplate on the value of oneness. Capture the essence of the divine that I grasp the very core of humanness.

One person, one weapon, various approaches one goal: immortality

'Aristophanes and Seferis sat down to collaborate on a grand work together. The deep ground of Manolis’ poetry is an ancient music that is the source of all great poetry, and within the context of these poems the shade of Anacreon and Neruda is ever present'

~Richard Olafson, author of Cloud on my Tongue

'After reading your poems, I would like to mention that I really like them. At last, I found the real depth of spirit in your lines, which is nearly totally missing from the current "postmodern", meaningless thrash called "poetry"...'

~Dr. Csiby Károly, English language and literature department, Faculty, Hungary

Manolis (Emmanuel Aligizakis) is a Greek-Canadian poet and author. He is known to be the most prolific writer-poet of the Greek diaspora. At the age of eleven he transcribed the nearly 500 year old romantic poem Erotokritos, now released in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies and made available for collectors of rare books at 5,000 dollars Canadian: the most expensive book of its kind to this day. He was recently appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and awarded a Master’s for the Arts in Literature. He is recognized for his ability to convey images and thoughts in a rich and evocative way that tugs at something deep within the reader.

Born in the village of Kolibari on the island of Crete in 1947, he moved with his family at a young age to Thessaloniki and then to Athens, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences from the Panteion University of Athens. After graduation, he served in the armed forces for two years and emigrated to Vancouver in 1973, where he worked as an iron worker, train labourer, taxi driver, and stock broker, and he studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University.

Manolis has written three novels and numerous collections of poetry, which are steadily being released as published works. His articles, poems and short stories in both Greek and English have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in Canada, United States, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia, Jordan, Serbia and Greece. His poetry has been translated into Spanish, Romanian, Swedish, German, Hungarian, Arabic, Turkish, Serbian and Russian languages, and they have been published in book form or in magazines in various countries.

He now lives in White Rock, where he spends his time writing, gardening, traveling, and heading Libros Libertad, an unorthodox and independent publishing company which he founded in 2006 with the mission of publishing literary books. His translation book “George Seferis-Collected Poems” was shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards the highest literary recognition of Greece.

Taking the graduation oath at the Panteion University of Athens, April, 1973. I recite the oath being the graduate with the highest marks.

Some of Manolis's publications and awards are listed here. Visit the links below for complete listings.



E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Images of Absence, poetry. Ekstasis Editions, 2015
Autumn Leaves, poetry. Ekstasis Editions, 2014
Übermensch/Υπεράνθρωπος, poetry. Ekstasis Editions, 2013
Mythography, paintings and poetry. Libros Libertad, 2012
Yannis Ritsos-Selected Poems, translation. Ekstasis Editions, 2013
Vespers, poetry: Manolis, paintings: Ken Kirkby . Libros Libertad, 2010
George Seferis-Collected Poems, translation. Libros Libertad, 2012
Cavafy-Selected Poems, translation. Ekstasis Editions, 2011
The Orphans - an Anthology, poetry. Authorhouse, Bloomington, Indiana , 2005
Stratis Roukounas, (Greek) novel. MAVRIDIS EDITIONS, Athens, Greece, 1981
The Second Advent of Zeus. Ekstasis Editions, 2016


Distinguished Poet and Writer Award, City of Richmond, BC, for Composite, 2014
1st Poetry Prize, International Arts Academy, Translations for 'Yannis Ritsos- Selected Poems' , 2014
Dr. Asha Bhargava Memorial Award, Writers International Network Canada for Composite, 2014
Shortlisted, Greek National Literary Awards, translations. for 'George Seferis-Collected Poems', 2013
1st Poetry Prize, International Arts Academy, Translations for 'George Seferis-Collected Poems', 2013
1st Prize for poetry, 7th Volos poetry Competition for Composite, 2012
2nd Prize for short story, Interartia Festival, 2012
2nd Prize for Poetry, Interartia Festival , 2012
2nd Prize for poetry, Interartia Festival , 2011
3rd Prize for short stories, Interartia Festival, 2011
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