New Issue of Celebrated Literary Journal to Focus on Greek-Americans

Mondo Greco
showcases achievements of Greek and Greek-American writers

With two Nobel laureates, and several other writers of international stature, Greece has made an outsized contribution to modern literature. Thanks to Mondo Greco, a skillfully edited and beautifully designed journal devoted to Greek fiction, poetry and travel writing, English-speaking readers have access not only to the work of such celebrated figures as Cavafy, Ritsos, and Elytis, but to the lively variety of new voices coming out of Greece, a country where poetry and fiction of a very high level is widely read and enjoyed.

For the reader who wants to know "what's going on in Greece now?" Mondo Greco provides an answer. English speaking readers can enjoy expert translations of the works that are currently receiving attention and acclaim in Greece, such as Maria Papathanasiou's novel "Judas Gave the Greatest Kiss," or the latest poems by Kika Dimoula.

Now Mondo Greco is turning its attention to writers of Hellenic background who live and work here in the U.S. A brand-new, 300-page double issue will be devoted to Greek-American writers and photographers. Packed with original fiction, poetry, photography and memoirs, the issue will include the work of Olga Broumas, Jeffrey Eugenides, Nicholas Gage, Stratis Haviaris, and David Sedaris, among many others.

The new issue of Mondo Greco confirms that Americans of Greek descent have been quietly excelling in every genre of contemporary literature and art. Many have received individual acclaim. But until now, few attempts have been made to gather their creative energy in one volume.

Mondo Greco has generally struck a balance between the celebrated and the up-and-coming,

Dino Siotis
between the internationally known "greats" and more contemporary voices. Readers of the Spring 2001 issue enjoyed a generous excerpt from Thanassis Valtinos' "Data from the Decade of the Sixties," a collage of letters, news clippings, and advertisements conveying the anxiety and excitement of a turbulent era. Women, caught between traditional expectations and changing mores, confide in advice columnist Miss Mina, villagers write amiable letters to bureaucratic agencies, and everyone seems to want to emigrate to Australia, though "we will always be thinking of our beloved GREECE."

At the same time, the journal has not neglected Greece's classical heritage. In a recent issue, renowned scholar Bernard Knox discusses the importance of competition to the ancient Greeks. "Always to Be the Best" concludes that the competitive spirit was both central to classical accomplishment and a source of the disunity that eventually weakened the Greek world. Also featured recently in Mondo Greco is John R. Silber's "Drinking the Sun of Corinth and reading the Marbles," originally presented as the inaugural John C. Rouman lecture on Classical and Hellenic Studies at the University of New Hampshire. Silber laments the absence of Hellenic tradition from current-day education, arguing that attentive readers of the Iliad and other classics are better prepared for both life and death.

Add to this evocative travel pieces about destinations such as Tinos and Kalimnos, a generous selection of lyric poetry, and topical articles about such subjects as the odyssey of Greek-American-Japanese writer Lafcadio Hea
rn. The result is a magazine which is destined for a long shelf-life, to be read again and again.

Editor Dino Siotis has been involved with literary magazines since 1971, when he was a graduate student in the U.S. His first publication, Wire, was succeeded by Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora, The Coffeehouse, Aegean Review, and the Greek-language journal Revmata. Siotis is the author of several volumes of poetry in Greek and English, most recently Foreign Territory. He is cultural and media counselor at the Greek Consulate in Boston.

For more information on Mondo Greco, readers can contact the magazine at or by regular mail at 34R South Russell Street 2B, Boston, MA 02114-3936

-- Robert Herschbach

(Posting date January 2003)

HCS encourages readers to view other articles and releases in our permanent, extensive archives at the URL, especially other fine articles by or about Dino Siotis in the eponymously titled section at Read more about the author at

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