Nikos Fokas (Greek: Νίκος Φωκάς) is a Greek poet, essayist and translator.


Fokas was born in Cephalonia in 1927 and educated in Athens. In the 1960s he lived in London and worked for the BBC World Service. On his return to Greece he worked as a free-lance journalist for the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation until his retirement in 1982.[1] He lives in Athens with his wife.


Fokas has published numerous collections of poetry. The publication in 2002 of his Collected Poems: 1954-2000 brought his works to the attention of a wider audience. In 2005, he received the Grand Prize in Literature from the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Medal of Distinction in Letters from the Athens Academy of Arts and Sciences.[2]

Fokas’s works have been the subject of translation. In 2010, a selection of his poems between 1981 and 2000 was published by Ypsilon Books (Athens), translated and prefaced by Don Schofield, under the title The Known (τά γνωστά).

Critical receptionEdit

According to the literary critic Alexis Ziras, "Fokas’ work, from his early collections to his latest pieces, is pervaded by an endeavour to crystallise marginal emotions – an endeavour which we might say traces a parallel path to that of contemporary painting", while Thanasis Valtinos, a member of the Academy of Athens, has said:[3]

Fokas is a unique and singular presence in our postwar poetry. His poetic work - dense, solid, unpredictable - distinguishes itself from the plethora of poems by his peers through its depth of reflection, its poetic clarity, the precision of its design, and its stringent antilyrical tone.


Fokas’s translations into Greek include:


  1. ^ Greece – Poetry International Web web-site, accessed on 1 October 2011.
  2. ^ Nikos Phokas, The Known: Selected Poems (1981-2000), translated and prefaced by Don Schofield, Ypsilon Books, Athens, 2010
  3. ^ Honorary citation for lifetime achievement in poetry and literature, delivered at the presentation of the John D. Criticos International Prize (London, 8 November 2011); translated by Don Schofield