Argyris Chionis passed away on Christmas day at the age of 68. A Poet, a novelist and translator, born in Athens in 1943, who spent much of his life in the countries of North-West Europe. He began to write poems at the age of 14, influenced by the “mantinades” of Crete and “Erotocritos” sung by his Cretan mother.
His poems were first published in 1963 in the journal “Dodekati Ora” and “Nea Estia” in 1964. His first collection of poems was published in 1966, titled “Apopeires Fotos” (Attempts of Light), while in 1967, shortly after the establishment of the dictatorship, he went to Paris, whereby he worked hard and attended French classes in the evenings.
In early 1969, his poems were translated and published in literary magazines in Holland, a country bound to become his second destination. In Amsterdam, Argyris Chionis spent eight and a half years working hard and studying the language, efforts that were subsequently recognized; as he earned a scholarship from the Society of Writers, was accepted in literary circles, published his works in journals, two of his books were published, two of his theatrical plays were awarded, he was appointed instructor for Greek classes at the People’s Open University, and enrolled at the Italian Literature Department of the University of Amsterdam.
He returned to Greece in 1977 and for the next five years he worked as a translator, worked on a series of children’s programs for the radio, and represented our country at the annual University of Iowa International Writing Program in the States.
In 1982, he was hired as a translator at the European Union Council and settled in Brussels. In 1992 he resigned and retired to Throfari, a small mountain village in Corinth, where he was involved with poetry and agriculture. He was a member of the Society of Writers.