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Yiannis Ritsos

Yiannis Ritsos (1909-1990) was one of most prolific European poets of the 20th century. The author of more than a hundred books of poems, plays, fiction, translations and essays, his work has been translated into over forty different languages. Because of his politics – Ritsos was a life-long member of the Greek Communist Party – the Metaxas dictatorship burned his books at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens in 1936. During the Axis occupation of Greece (1941–1945) he was a member of EAM (National Liberation Front). After the Civil War he was imprisoned for four years on the concentration-camp islands of Lemnos and Makronisos. His books were banned until 1954. In the 1960s he was imprisoned on Samos for three years by the military junta.
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