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Dimitris Tsaloumas Dimitris Tsaloumas i(A26873 works by) (a.k.a. Demetres Tsaloumas)
Born: Established: 13 Oct 1921 Leros, Greek islands,
Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 3 Feb 2016 Leros, Greek islands,
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1952
Heritage: Greek
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Although Dimitris Tsaloumas was born in Greece, he was educated in the Italian language, as the Dodecanese islands belonged to Italy between 1912 and 1947. Later, he attended a school on Rhodes, where he also studied violin. By the time he left Greece in 1951, he had published two collections of poetry. One of these collections was printed with the help of English writer Lawrence Durrell who met Tsaloumas on Rhodes and, impressed with the manuscript, arranged the printing at the expense of the British Information Office where Durrell worked at the time.

Tsaloumas left Greece for political reasons, hoping to return as soon as circumstances allowed. He stayed in Australia, however, gaining a BA in English and French in 1959 from Melbourne University and working as a secondary school teacher of English and modern languages in Melbourne until his retirement in 1982. Six of his poetry volumes were published in Greece. A selection from them was published as The Observatory, which won the National Book Council Award in 1983. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Helix, Antipodes, Chroniko, Meanjin, and Island Magazine.

In 1980 he was awarded a General Writing Grant and, in 1983, a Fellowship from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. In Tsaloumas' work Hellenic traditions are reflected in highly structured and formal poetry ranging from the elegiac to the sardonic. While regarded as the paradigmatic voice of the poet in exile, more precisely of the Greek diaspora, Tsaloumas perceived himself rather as an Australian-Greek writer. He reflected a classical poetic tradition, presenting a medley of voices, a cast of commentators on modern society. His work transcends the personal and the political and is quite distinct from accounts of migrant experiences which catalogue the minutiae of the struggle for survival.

In 2006, Tsaloumas wrote the text in Japanese haiku for the limited edition artist's book, Notes Towards a Story of Love, which comprises etchings by Michael Winters and screenprinting by Douglas Kirwan. He travelled between Melbourne and Leros after his retirement in 1982.

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages: GREEK, ENGLISH

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Harbour St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1998 Z555132 1998 selected work poetry

'From haiku to elegy, these poems move from the Greek Islands to suburban Australia and on to the timeless plains of the imagination. When the brilliant and haunting sequence poem Six Improvisations on the River was first published in England in 1995, it was described as 'weaving into the fabric of history a place for the artist as visionary.'' (Publication summary)

2000 winner Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature John Bray Award for Poetry
y separately published work icon The Barge St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1993 Z272686 1993 selected work poetry

'Third English language collection of poems by a Greek-Australian writer. Contains new as well as previously published work. The other two collections are 'Falcon Drinking' and 'Portrait of a Dog'.' (Publication summary)

1994 winner Australian Centre Literary Awards Wesley Michel Wright Prize in Poetry
y separately published work icon The Observatory : Selected Poems of Dimitris Tsaloumas ( trans. Philip Grundy et. al.agent )expression St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1983 Z497455 1983 selected work poetry Author's first selection of his poetry in English (parallel text in Greek) and winner of the 1983 NBC Award.
1983 winner National Book Council Award for Australian Literature
Last amended 19 Feb 2018 10:50:15
Influence on:
Autumn Visit Jan Owen , 1994 single work poetry
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