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Marina Kazakova (b. Gorky, Russia, 1983) is a Russian-born Belgium-based poet. Her literature works deal to a large degree with confrontation with the past and explore the challenges posed both by memory and grief. Published internationally in magazines and journals (Three Rooms Press "Maintenant", "Great Weather for Media...", "Crannog", "Duck Lake Books", "Writing in a Woman's Voice", "Modern Literature"), Marina is a frequent performer, she has been shortlisted at various international poetry festivals and art events: Brussels Poetry Festival 2017-2018, Maintenant's Dada London Invasion 2018, Nothing To Sell 2019 - Rome, European Poetry Festival 2020, Red Square Festival 2020, The 3rd International Literary Festival Words of Fire 2020 in Portugal, Gerard Manley Hopkins International Literary Festival 2020 in Ireland, Stanza Scotland's Poetry Festival 2021, Mani Lit Fest 2021, etc.

 

Marina holds Masters degrees in Public Relations and Transmedia. Currently, she is Communications Officer at Victim Support Europe (Brussels) and working on her practice-based PhD in Arts at Luca School of Arts (KULeuven).

 
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Sara Maino is an audio-visual artist, poet and performer, film and theatre director.  She’s the author of several international poetry performances and theatrical shows held in all Europe, South Korea, Brazil. Some of her lyrics have been published on national reviews and collections. She’s coauthor of anthropology and ethnobotanical research books published in Italy. As an author and multimedia expert she worked for Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana in Trento and Milan, for University Luiss Guido Carli in Rome, for several foundations and museums. She is a freelance and spends much of her time as an expert in the Italian schools, researching with kids on the relationship between soundscapes, drawing, imagination and collective memory of the community. Her goal is to develop the awareness of active listening.

www.saramaino.it

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Maria Mavroyenneas - Mar Mor was born in 1970 in a small, historic Greek village by the sea; Homer’s Kardamili on the Mani Peninsula. Her powerful stories are inspired by nature’s influence on ordinary people’s lives and their interactions.  She shows a deep, clear insight into the life of rural Greece and its secrets; where

hardship, traditions and legacy intertwine so well. Maria Mavroyenneas caught the “bug” of writing as a result of her friendship with British author, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, and his wife, Joan. Both gave her every encouragement and support from the beginning of her writing career. 'The Canyon's Echo' is dedicated to their memory.

marmor.mani@gmail.com, www.facebook.com/marmor.stories/

Photo credit:  Dimitris Christeas

 
 
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Chris Heath is the creator and writer of The World According To Grandpa series of books (now a brand new TV show on Channel 5) and has had a 20 year career as a TV Producer and Comedy Writer. He’s created shows for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and CBBC, including Holiday of my Lifetime with Len Goodman and The TV That Made Me With Brian Conley. He wrote two series of a Radio 4 sitcom called Clement Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (with Marc Haynes) and has written for acts like Johnny Vaughan, Lenny Henry, Marcus Brigstocke, Rufus Hound, Roland Rat and Paddy McGuinness.

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James Heneage is a writer who lives half the year in the Mani. He is the author of the four-book Mistra Chronicles, published by Quercus, and is currently writing The Shortest History of Greece which will be published in May 2021 by Old Street Publishing. He is the founder of the Ottakar's Bookshop Chain which he sold to Waterstones in 2006 and of the Chalke Valley History Festival. He has chaired the Cheltenham Literary Festival and the Costa Book Prize and was a Booker prize judge in 2008. He likes walking, Tintin and Greece. 

 
 
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Mike Heath born in 1947 in Peterborough of a Greek mother and English father, has lived close to Stoupa for 14 years since retiring as a History teacher with 37 years service. An active sportsman he played rugby till the age of 47 and also was a keen hockey and tennis player. He has had poetry published in the past but has just had his first book, a biography/social history called “The Life and Times of Annie Williams. Last of a Fenland Dynasty” published. It is based on extensive interviews with a remarkable lady who certainly lived an atypical life for someone based in the middle of nowhere. She was a nurse during the Great War and witnessed many remarkable changes in society during her ninety six years. Her friendship with Peter Scott, the noted naturalist and artist, forms a major part of her interesting story.

He has also written a book about The Rolling Stones from a fan’s point of view which he hopes to get published after some major revisions.

He has also run several very successful music/film quizzes in the area which have financially benefitted GAIA and other worthy organisations.

Mike is also the father of the very remarkably talented Chris Heath who was a great success at the last Lit Fest.

To find out more visit the Facebook page Mike Heath - author 

 
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Gail Aldwin is a novelist, poet and scriptwriter. Her debut coming-of-age novel The String Games was a finalist in The People’s Book Prize and the DLF Writing Prize 2020. Following a stint as a university lecturer, Gail’s children’s picture book Pandemonium was published. She volunteered at Bidibidi in Uganda, the second largest refugee settlement in the world but was repatriated early due to Covid-19.  Her second novel for adults, This Much Huxley Knows uses a seven-year-old boy to narrate. The story explores friendship and community tensions during the Brexit referendum and is scheduled for release in July 2021. When she’s not gallivanting around the world, Gail writes at her home in Dorset. You can find Gail on Twitter @gailaldwin and on her blog https://gailaldwin.com.

 
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Carol McGrath is the author of the acclaimed She-Wolves Trilogy, which began with the hugely successful The Silken Rose and continues with the brand new The Damask Rose. Born in Northern Ireland, she fell in love with historical fiction at a young age, when exploring local castles, such as Carrickfergus, and nearby archaeological digs – and discovering some ancient bones herself. While completing a degree in history, she became fascinated by the strong women who were silenced in record, and was inspired to start exploring their lives. Her first novel, The Handfasted Wife, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards, and Mistress Cromwell was widely praised as a timely feminist retelling of Tudor court life. Her novels are known for their intricacy, depth of research and powerful stories.

 

For more news, exclusive content and competitions, sign up to Carol’s newsletter at: www.carolcmcgrath.co.uk

 

Follow her on Facebook: /CarolMcGrathAuthor1

And Twitter: @CarolMcGrath

 
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Ann Richardson is originally from California but now from Kardamyli. Ann’s passion for oral histories led to her being commissioned to produce several family history books. She runs the Mani Memoir Group which meets weekly and includes a range of writing talents: from complete novices to people who have been paid to write. Ann believes that all lives are equally important and that we each have our unique story to tell. She helps her group explore and record their personal histories.

 
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Stephanie Rouse is a writer, reader and daydream believer. After a board level career in marketing, Steph has been privileged to study novel writing with the prestigious Faber Academy and Oxford University Continuing Education. She is currently touting her debut novel to literary agents while working on her second. She is a founder-presenter of Write Club The Podcast and lives in Greece and the UK with her husband and a neurotic cocker spaniel called Wilfred Owen. Her favourite form of procrastination is ‘research’.

 
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Alizon Robertson is a crime fiction writer and academic based in Lancashire and Andalucia Spain. She has taught Creative Writing and English Literature at North West Universities for twenty seven years and has recently submitted her Cumbrian based thriller The Lantern Bearers.

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Katerina Gyftaki is a Greek author living on the shores of Kalamata bay. She began writing fairy tales from a very early age and has published two collections of stories. She worked as a journalist for several newspapers and later worked as a professional story teller, accompanied by various musicians. Her first novel, Argantael, was a fantasy for young adults and was selected amongst the top ten best novels for teenagers. She has since published three novels for adults, with the fourth due in the shops soon. Her most recent novel, First the Wolf, is in the process of being translated into English, and has received high praise from reviewers. Her books deal frequently with varying historical periods, focusing on love, mystery and adventure. She lives with her partner, a musician and composer, and her dog and several cats. She has two children who are also in the music world. She loves stories, animals, and music.

 

You can find out more about Katerina’s work on her Facebook page, Κατερίνα Γυφτάκη συγγραφέας and Katerina Giftaki Beck.

 
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Pat Woolfe is a retired English and drama teacher from Manchester, who now spends most of the year in Stoupa, where she lives with her husband Mike, and numerous cats.

She is one of the founder members of Write Club, where she says she finally had the chance to develop some of the stories inspired by characters, situations, snippets of conversation she had been mentally filing away for future reference. Her previous literary efforts were often in response to the need to provide drama material for students, or members of the Youth Theatre she ran, and included several short plays. More recently, she has produced a number of short stories, often with just a hint of darkness, one of which won the 1st prize in our last Short Story competition.

 

The Tsakiris family has made the Mediterranean lifestyle with its emphasis on the sea, sun, family, friends and, crucially, the food that celebrates all these things the centre of their lives.

NICHOLAS, father of Olivia and Chloe, returned to his roots in Greece after decades living in the US. A prize winning designer and architect who is now a computer networking engineer, he settled in an idyllic village, Kardamyli where he continues his tech work and his quest to live off the land. OLIVIA followed soon after a brief stint at UK Vogue magazine and completing a masters degree in Public Relations. She now owns Salt Yoga in Kardamyli where she teaches classes by the sea side and also works for a local architecture firm. Now married and with a baby son, she has settled happily into life there. CHLOE has since returned to NYC where she lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and works at Olo, the leading provider of online ordering for restaurants in NYC. Chloe also teaches yoga and curates social media content. Chloe worked with the Director of Product Development at Hammonds Candies.

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John Hayes spent his working life teaching geography in British secondary schools, eventually becoming a deputy head at Great Torrington School in North Devon, before obtaining early retirement in 1997.  Since then, he and his wife have lived part-time in Greece, renovating an old stone house, creating a pleasure garden from a rubbish tip, learning the language, running a boutique olive and olive oil business, assimilating many facets of Greek popular culture, cuisine, politics and sport and engaging in many aspects of traditional and modern Greek life.  His recently published book Greco Files captures the highs and lows of their Greek experience.

 
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Claire Papamichael was born in Athens in 1963 and studied Sociology in the Panteion University.  She has worked more than 35 years as a freelance literary translator from English to Greek. Among the authors she has translated are Maeve Binchy, Marian Keys, Graham Greene, Sebastian Faulks, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens and recently Madeleine Miller, Alex Michaelides and Olivia Manning. She is currently translating The Saga of the Century by Rebecca West and two of the shortlisted books for the Booker Prize 2021.

 

Except from some attempts at poetry as a favour to friends, The Book of Katerina is the first book she translates from Greek to English