You are on page 1of 4


Newsletter of the Hellenic Society of Maine

Vol. VI Spring 2013 Website: Facebook:

Greek Poetry and Music - Spring Lecture Series

Hellenic culture as expressed through the arts will be the focus of the Spring 2013 lectures. Both programs are free and open to the public and are presented with the support of USMs Hellenic Initiatives program. For more information on either lecture, call 780 -5025. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 27, poet Mary Snell will give a talk on The Poetry of Cavafy, Seferis, Ritsos and Elytis in Room 102 of Wishcamper Center, USM Portland Campus. Any anthology of modern Greek poetry includes these four masters four poets who shaped the literature and psyche of Greece, two of whom were recognized internationally as Nobel Laureates. This talk will attempt to give a brief introduction to the poets and to their work, plus a few poems will be read in English translation and possibly in the original Greek. Mary Snell is a lifelong resident of Maine, and a seasonal resident of Greece. A poet and free lance writer, she is a former journalist and theater critic for the Maine Sunday Telegram. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the Stonecoast MFA program at USM, where she also worked for many years in promotions for the School of Music. She is a part time lecturer at USM, offering two summer classes in Greece one on Greek culture, and the other, a creative writing workshop co -taught with Betsy Sholl. She is president of the Hellenic Society of Maine and founder of the USM / Aegean Arts & Cultural Exchange. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, Prof. Paul Christiansen will give a talk entitled The Kaleidoscope of Ancient Greek Music in Rm. 102, Wishcamper Center, USM Portland campus. This lecture will address the role of music in daily life in Ancient Greece including occasions for music making, scales and tuning, instruments, and the relation of music to poetry. We will listen to recordings of music from extant transcriptions on period reconstructions of ancient instruments. Prof. Christiansen is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Southern Maine. He has offered courses in the history and analysis of Western music, world music, and musicianship at all levels from non-major to graduate. In 2007, he co-taught Bohemian Rhapsody, a culture and history course in the Czech Republic. Before coming to USM, he taught in the Musicology Department of Palack University (Olomouc, Czech Republic) and in the Music Department of the University of California, Davis. Dr. Christiansens areas of research interest are Czech music, Janek, Haydn, orientalism, hermeneutics, rock music, and music in political advertisements. In support of his research, he has received research fellowships and grants from Fulbright, DAAD, and the Czech Science Foundation.

HSoM Represented at Boston Event

On Friday November 16 a few of us traveled to the Maliotis Cultural Center in Boston for the 100 th anniversary celebrations of the liberation of the northern Aegean islands from Ottoman rule Mytilene among them. HSoM had a table exhibit (above), and during the evening, we talked with many folks interested in what the Society is doing in Maine. Since Portland is Mytilenes Sister City, and HSoM supports that relationship, we were involved in the Portes art exhibit that went to Mytilene this past June in honor of this landmark year.

Great attendance at Fall offerings

Following Fr. Constantine Sarantidis Powerpoint presentation and lecture on icons held October 24 in the parish Hall of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Portland, he led the audience to the church itself (above) to see actual icons up close. On November 14 in Wishcamper Center of USM, Prof. Peter Aicher gave a lively lecture on Troy through the lens of the great poet, Homer, and his masterwork, The Iliad. Sarah Harrells class on Ancient Greek, offered through OLLI at USM, drew 12 eager students!

The Eighth Annual Spring 2013


Contemporary & Classic Films about Greece
presented by

USM Hellenic Initiatives and Hellenic Society of Maine Free and Open to the Public
1960s Comedy! (Miss Director) Director: Dinos Dimopoulos Greece, 1964
Sunday, February 10, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
Tzeni Karezi stars in the title role of this romantic comedy. A young architect, Alekos Samiotakis (played by Alekos Alexandrakis) works in a firm that appoints a new manager - a smart and beautiful but rather "stiff" woman, Lila Vasileiou (Karezi). Sparks fly when these two meet but of course it takes much maneuvering and many misunderstandings before they yield to the inevitable. Jennys doting, interfering father is played by venerable comedic actor, Dionysis Papagiannopoulos. Tzeni Karezi, a Greek film and theatre actress, was considered one of the most popular and successful actresses of the cinema of Greece. 94 min. In B&W. In Greek with English subtitles.

Classic Zorba the Greek - Director: Michael Cacoyiannis USA, 1964

Sunday, March 10, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
Starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, and Irene Pappas. From the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. You THINK youve seen it many times; but when did you see it last? An uptight English writer (Bates) traveling to Crete on a matter of business, finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba (Quinn). Four Academy Awards including one to Lila Kedrova as Best Supporting Actress. 142 minutes. In B&W. In English.

Documentary (Parvas) - Director: Gerasimos Rigas, Greek, 2008

Sunday, April 7, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
Ever wonder what life is like on a Greek island in winterwith no tourists, no guests from Athens? This documentary film traces the slow-paced daily life, for a year, of a family living in the main town of Amorgos Island in the Cyclades. The central character of the film is Dimitris Yiannakos, known as Parvas, who starts every day at 5:30 a.m., when he opens the cafenion that he runs with his wife and adult daughter. He then goes to his small piece of land where he tends his garden. The film is divided into four parts - the seasons of the year - with three of them comprised of a limited and repetitive existence. Perhaps similar to those of ancient times, these lives are tough, elemental, and spare. This film is a truthful depiction of what life is really like on these tourist islands once the crowds go home. 75 minutes. In Greek with English subtitles.

Hellenic Society of Maine

P.O. Box 598 Scarborough, ME 04070 Board of Directors Judith Allen-Efstathiou, Portland Despina Deveres, Portland Christos Gianopoulos, Greene Charles Hadiaris, Sanford Sarah Harrell, Portland Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, Orono Irwin Novak, Gorham secretary Taxia Paras, Scarborough treasurer Mary Snell, Gorham president George Spatoulas, Scarborough James Yalouris, Portland Chris Ziagos, Portland vice president Miltos Zacas, Orono

Tell us what you want!

The Hellenic Society wants to make you happy! but we need to know, of what we do, what you like and want more (or less) of. To learn that, we plan to distribute short and simple survey forms at events this Spring 2013. We hope you will take a few moments to fill them out, anonymously if you choose, to let us know how we are doing and what we should try to do more of. Of course, what we do is dictated in large part by the cost of programming. Our lecture series has depended upon a number of our speakers having generously donated their time. If you have ideas that you cant wait to share on a survey, please email the president, Mary Snell, at; or any board member with your ideas and feedback. We would greatly appreciate it. Thanks! We rely on email to send quick reminders and updates to members and friends. PLEASE send us your email. With rising costs, we are not sure how long we can continue to print and mail this newsletter twice a year!

Cutting the Vasilopita!

Members of the board cut a traditional vasilopita at their winter meeting in January at the home of Chris Ziagos. Vasilopitas are usually cut by families on New Years Day, but many organizations cut them at the earliest meeting of the year. The flouri was in the piece cut for the Society as a whole! (In this pita it was a good luck charm instead of the usual coin.) Pictured are some of the members present: (L to R) Dorothea Klimis-Zacas, Mary Snell, Christos Gianopoulos, Sarah Harrell and Judith Allen Efstathiou, who had hand-carried the special bread all the way from Athens the day before! Thanks Judith!

DUES - Our dues of $15 for a Full Member and $10 for an Associate Members cover the period of July 1 to June 30 each year, not a calendar year. If you want to join for the second half of this year, please copy the form, fill it out and send a check made out to: Hellenic Society of Maine, to HSoM, c/o Taxia Paras, P.O. Box 598, Scarborough, ME 04070-0598
Name:________________________________________________________________________________ Address:______________________________________City__________________State_____Zip________ Telephone_____________________________Email____________________________________________

For 2012-2013 Renewal/New

_____($15) Annual Full Member (grants the right to vote on policy issues at meetings) _____($10) Annual Associate Member _____Please put me on your mailing list. I cant join now, but enclosed is my check for _______in support of your efforts.

Make check or money order payable to: Hellenic Society of Maine Send to: Taxia Paras, Treasurer

P.O. Box 598 Scarborough, ME 04070-0598

Quick Calendar Summary

All events are free
Feb. 10 Film: 1964 comedy, Despinis Diefthetis (Miss Director) 3 p.m., Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland campus. Feb. 27 Lecture: The Poetry of Cavafy, Seferis, Ritsos, and Elytis by Mary Snell. 7 p.m. Room 102, Wishcamper Center, USM Portland. March 10 Film: Classic, Zorba the Greek, 3 p.m. Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland. April 7 Film: documentary, Parvas, 3 p.m. Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland. April 18 Annual Meeting & Social: Brief annual meeting at 6 p.m. before the Music lecture, with a social hour reception following the lecture. Room 102, Wishcamper Center, USM Portland. April 18 --Lecture: The Kaleidoscope of Ancient Greek Music by Prof. Paul Christiansen. 7 p.m. Room 102, Wishcamper Center. Clip and Save!

Summer 13: Writing Workshop in Greece

USM has offered summer classes on Lesvos for nearly two decades. Students in the summer 2012 class, The Cultural Landscape of Greece, spent three days in Athens, then nearly three weeks on Lesvos where they were special guests at the opening reception for the PORTES art exhibit in Mytilene. SUMMER of 2013 Do you know of someone - a college student or a community member - who would love to write in Greece? Once again, USMs International Programs is offering Writing and Myth: A Creative Writing Workshop in Athens (three nights) and on Lesvos from May 17 to June 1, 2013. Led by Betsy Sholl and Mary Snell, the class foClass of 2011 holds a workshop session at cuses on creating new work our hotel near the stunning Acropolis that is workshopped daily. While in Athens, the class will meet with, and hear a reading by, the internationally known poet, A.E. Stallings. Writers will also read and discuss Greek myths and characters, as well as ancient and modern Greek writers. There are field trips and special events too. The workshop earns students three undergraduate creadits, but is open to writers from the general public. Cost includes airfare to Athens then Mytilene; housing in Athens and Mytilene; tuition; transfers and museum admissions -- everything except food. For more information contact Summer Session at 780-5072 or go to Session.

Hellenic Initiatives University of Southern Maine c/o Irwin Novak 37 College Ave. Gorham, ME 04038

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Portland, ME 04101 Permit No. 370
Return Service Requested