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Manolis nominated for Polish Award

March 19th, 2024

Manolis Aligizakis, Cretan-Canadian Poet, author and translator has been shortlisted for the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award, a prestigious prize organized by the Zbigniew Herbert Foundation based in Warsaw, Poland, since 2013. This award honors artistic and intellectual achievements in poetry that have a bearing on the world of values towards which renowned Polish poet and essayist, Zbigniew Herbert’s work gravitated. The award winner is granted 200,000 PLN, which amounts to about US $50,000. This year, the jury that will choose the award winner consists of: Krystyna Dąbrowska (Poland), Edward Hirsch (USA), Michael Krüger (Germany), Mercedes Monmany (Spain), Aleš Šteger (Slovenia).

Manolis has published more than 20 books of poetry, three novels and 11 major translation works. He has earned recognition for his translation work, including being shortlisted for the Greek National Literary Awards for his translation of George Seferis’ poems. His literary contributions span across articles, poems, and short stories in both Greek and English, featured in publications across various countries such as Canada, the United States, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Australia and Greece.

Additionally, Manolis’ poetry has been translated into multiple languages including Spanish, Romanian, Swedish, Portuguese, German, Hungarian, Urdu and Punjabi. An esteemed member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Federation of BC Writers, Manolis actively contributes to the literary community as a Literary Advisor to Surrey Muse magazine, and as the former Vice-President of the Royal City Literary and Arts Society (RCLAS) in New Westminster.

Recently, he was appointed an honorary instructor and fellow of the International Arts Academy, and he holds a MA in Literature. Based in White Rock BC, Manolis operates Libros Libertad, an unconventional and independent publishing company, showcasing his dedication to fostering diverse voices in literature. In his latest poetry collection, Wheat Ears: Selected Poems (Amazon Digital Services/Self Published, 2022), Aligizakis draws inspiration from Greek mythology. While acknowledging his debt to legendary figures such as Zeus, Athena and Apollo, the author does not directly retell myths or place them in modern contexts within his poems. Instead, he pays homage to these mythical characters by attributing verses to them and finding inspiration in their archetypal qualities. Through his verses, Manolis demonstrates a deep reverence for Greek mythology, which has contributed significantly to world literature and continues to influence contemporary art and writing.




The Zbigniew Herbert Award aims to promote Poland’s cultural contribution—particularly in the field of poetry—to the development of world literature as manifested in the exchange of ideas, values, and contemporary experiences. In accordance with the rules & regulations endorsed by the Foundation’s board, the award will be given annually to a living author for achievements in the field of poetry, for the entirety of his creative output. The board can also decide to give awards in the additional categories of essays, translation and editing. The Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award will be the first of its kind, with a global reach, to be awarded in Poland, by a jury composed of eminent authors and literary experts.

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