The 20th Thessaloniki Book Fair (16-19 May, 2024) will host once again this year festivals and tributes in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and important institutions and initiatives. These collaborations and actions not only offer TBF a worldwide prestige and renew the institution, but they also actively support creative, young people from the book sector, highlighting their work to the public and book professionals.

From top to bottom: Stavroula Papadakis, Vassilis Moschos, Christina-Kalliroi Garbi, Spyros Goulas, Eleni Athanassiou, Esmeralda Geka, Valadis Mastoras, Efthimia Yosa, Alexandros Kordas, Spyros Cheretis


“Always be a poet, even in prose”, Charles Baudelaire

Within the framework of the 10th Young Writers’ Festival, on Friday 17 (8-10pm) and Saturday 18 May (7-9pm), ten poets of the new generation will be hosted by the poet and publisher Yorgos Alisanoglou, in collaboration with the poet Alexios Mainas, namely Eleni Athanassiou, Christina-Kalliroi Garbi, Efthimia Yosa, Esmeralda Geka, Spyros Goulas, Alexandros Kordas, Valantis Mastoras, Vassilis Moschos, Stavroula Papadakis, Spyros Cheretis. The poets will present their work through interesting discussions on the themes of contemporary poetry – on a personal and collective level – accompanied by poetry readings, personal interviews and poetic conversations, highlighting the personal style of each participant, as well as the potential for proposals and approaches to how poetry speaks and interprets the present. They will be joined by C. P. Cavafy Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature Vassilis Lambropoulos, who will talk about the poetic landscape of young people in Greece today, and the poet-editor Alexios Mainas, who will contribute with questions and observations on issues of contemporary poetics.


A surprise awaits the visitors of the 20th TBF, because… “Where you wonder about things you see for the first time […] That’s where poetry finds you…“, in the words of renowned Greek poet Titos Patrikios. Twenty poems will be displayed non-stop at the Poetry Black Box (Pavilion 14), providing the public with the opportunity to isolate themselves between browsing the pavilions and get in touch with the creations of 20 Greek contemporary poets. In the action Veni Video Vici / Poetry in the Age of the Image, video artists, music producers and poets jointly create new visual creations and invite visitors to press Pause, to stop running in the aisles and, in the absolute isolation of the Poetry Black Box, to observe the videopoems, to process the material and to recreate anew what they see unfolding before their eyes.

The following poets will participate: Yorgos Alisanoglou, Vassilis Amanatidis, Dimitris Gkioulos, Anastasia Gkitsi, Thanos Gogos, Sissy Doutsiou, Nikos Erinakis, Lena Kallergi, Maria Koulouri, Ageliki Lalou, Ioanna Lioutsia, Alexios Mainas, Eirini Margariti, Penny Milia, Eftychia Panayiotou, Konstantinos Papacharalampos, Eirini Pappa, Patrizia Rondini, Petros Stefaneas, Niki Chalkiadaki. The event is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and curated by Anastasia Gkitsi and Yorgos Alisanoglou.


On Friday 17/5 (8-9 pm) there will take place the announcement and the award ceremony of the Young Book Designers Award, as well as a discussion with representatives of the institution. Speakers: Lia Fakinou (Greek Visual Communication Design Awards), Beate Köhler (Director of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki), Nopi Chatzigeorgiou (TBF Coordinator).

The award is granted by Goethe-Institut Athen in cooperation with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, GVCDA (Greek Visual Communication Design Awards), Stiftung Buchkunst and the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The competition is open to designers, printers, publishers and producers of creative book designs.

The award aims to discover new original ideas about the printed book as an object of design and aesthetic creation. Highlighting the talents of the younger generation, the award attempts to encourage modernity in a medium that is both traditional and modern.The prize is awarded by a five-member committee consisting of editors and book designers from Greece and Germany, appointed by the Goethe Institut, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Stiftung Buchkunst and GVCDA. The awarded titles are exhibited at the TBF, will travel to Frankfurt and Leipzig, take part in world competitions and participate in tours, matchmaking and networking activities. Moderated by Lia Fakinou.  


Along with the Thessaloniki Book Fair, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Panhellenic Association of Professional Translators Graduates of the Ionian University (PEEMPIP), with a continuous presence at the TBF since 2015. This year, PEEMPIP is organizing a discussion on the translation trends of the last decade in the publishing industry in a cross-disciplinary feminist perspective, as well as the opportunities that arise through the Women in Translation initiative. Guests are Dr Olga Castro from Spain, Distinguished Senior Researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Associate Professor of Translation at the University of Warwick, England, and Dr Vasiliki Misiou, Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation and Intercultural Studies at the School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

At the same time, within the framework of the Translation Festival, Myrto Kalofolia (State Translation Award 2023) and Ioanna Andreou, moderated by Kleopatra Elaiotriviari, will delve into the secrets of successful cooperation between translator and editor. Finally, PEEMPIP is organising at the Children’s Corner a special, interactive presentation for primary school students titled What a translator does for a living, by experienced translator Kleopatra Elaiotriviari.

Institutes and institutions will also organize events related to translation, such as the translation of contemporary Slovenian and Croatian literature into Greek by Ivan Sršen, Marija Dejanović, Thanos Gagos, etc., as well as related activities and events within the framework of Sharjah as guest of honour.

The events and discussions that will be hosted within the framework of the annual meeting of the European Network for Literary Translation (ENLIT) that will take place during the TBF, will play a key role in the field of translation. Greek publishers will have the opportunity to meet the 13 members of ENLIT, which was founded in the context of the Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2016 with the aim of developing translation support programmes to promote literature at national and international level. During the TBF, the network will provide information on translation projects and participate in the respective panels. There will participate: Ainhoa Sanchez (Spain), Tiia Strandén (Finland), Kotryna Pranckunaite (Lithuania), Olena Odynoka (Ukraine), Pavel Sibyla (Slovakia), Katja Urbanija (Slovenia), Sinéad Mac Aodha (Ireland), Paul Hermans (Βelgium/Flanders), Marife Boix-Garcia (Germany – Frankfurter Buchmesse), Margit Walsø (Norway), Martin Krafl (Czech Republic), Julià Florit Juan (Catalunya) and Alexandra Büchler (United Kingdom/ Whales), while the Greek translation program GreekLit will be represented by Haris Meletiadis, member of the program’s committee, through which 39 books in 19 languages have been published.  

Writers who have been awarded with the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) will have a valuable presence in panels. Among them are Martina Vidaić (Croatia, 2023 award), Marentede Moor (Netherlands, 2014 award, in Greek The Dutch Virgin by Vakhikon Editions), Bianca Bellová (Czech Republic, 2017 award, in Greek The Lake by Vakhikon Editions), and Giovanni Dozzini (Italy, 2019 award, in Greek Baboucar led the line by Enastron Enastron Editions). The Prize highlights Europe’s creativity and diversity in fiction, promotes literature through translations of the award-winning works and fosters intercultural dialogue. The initiative is supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme and coordinated by the International and European Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), while in Greece it is coordinated by the Hellenic Authors’ Society.


2024 marks the 100th anniversary of Kafka’s death and on this occasion Goethe-Institut presents the poster exhibition KOMPLETT KAFKA in cooperation with the award-winning artist Nicolas Mahler and the Literaturhaus Stuttgart (Stuttgart Literary House) during the 20th TBF, giving visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves virtually in the mysterious world of Kafka’s novels, who, in addition to writing, also had a great passion for drawing.

In addition, on Saturday 18 May (1-2 pm), Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki, within the framework of the anniversary events “Kafka-Talks”, will organize the Kafka Landscape, a panel discussion where writers, academics, political scientists and filmmakers will attempt to immerse themselves in the work of the great writer and his different and unknown “landscapes”. Participants are: Dimitra Mitta, professor of literature and writer, Georgios Fragkoglou, theatre professor and director, Stelios Vrachnis, director. Moderated by Yianna Tsokou. Actors of the Protasi Theater will read excerpts from Letter to the Father.

From left to right: Bianca Bellova [©Marta Režová]; Giovanni Dozzini; Martina Vidaic [©Nikola Kupresanin]; Marente de Moor [©Eddo Hartmann]


The Hellenic Foundation for Culture in collaboration with the Vafopoulio Cultural Center of the Municipality of Thessaloniki will present a multifaceted, interactive tribute to the distinguished writer who was part of the soul and life of Thessaloniki and whose personal story meets the history of the city. Since 2014, Vafopoulio has had the exclusive and legal possession of the Giorgos Ioannou collection, part of which is his literary archive, with a high collector’s value.

An exhibition of books, photographs and archival material from the George Ioannou Collection will be held at Pavilion 15 of the TBF. On Thursday 16 (5 pm) an event titled Writer Giorgos Ioannou “talks” with his city will take place, moderated by the President of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Nikos Koukis, with the participation of Anastasia Vakaloudi, Ph.D. in the Didactics of History and the Use of Information and Communication Technologies Teachers’ Supervisor (Inspector) in Secondary Education, Adjunct Professor of the Hellenic Open University; Elena Avramidou, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Greek Studies at the Institute of World History of Art, Shanghai University of International Studies, China, member of the Executive Committee of the UNESCO Chair at the Ionian University, member of the Coordinating Committee of the International Society of Friends of Nikos Kazantzakis; Stelios Koukos, journalist, writer; Anastasia Hatzi, writer.

On Friday 17 May (9 pm) at the Thessaloniki History Center, Rodanthi Dimitresi will narrate the Tales of our peopleby Giorgos Ioannou, while at 6pm there will be an open tour for the public in the ‘George Ioannou Hall’ at the Vafopoulio Cultural Center.   

On Saturday 18 May (6 pm) there will be a Walk in the centre of Thessaloniki titled With its signs on  me. A “narrative” of the city through the references, descriptions, experiences and feelings of Giorgos Ioannou, as he captured them in his literary work or commented on them in interviews or articles. Organized by Athanasia Bountidou, Vafopoulio Cultural Centre.

Within the framework of the tribute, on Friday 17 May (7 pm) the Central Municipal Library of Thessaloniki will organize a lecture by Dr Byron Pissalidis, titled Sustainability of the literary archives of Giorgos Ioannou and Leonardo Sciascia. A cross-cultural perspective on literary heritage.

On Sunday 19 May (1-2 pm) Kedros Publishers will organize the event Speech is a great need of the soul. Thomas Korovinis, writer-songwriter and Sophia Iakovidou, Associate Professor of Modern Greek Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, will speak about the great writer. On the same day at 2pm, the Eneken-Culture Review with the publisher Giorgos Giannopoulos as a speaker, will analyse the way and the conditions under which the contemporary literary and cultural landscape was shaped in the event titled  History-Trauma- -Pleasure: The Case of Giorgos Ioannou and Dinos Christianopoulos.

Under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Thessaloniki Book Fair is organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in cooperation with Greek Publishers, TIF–HELEXPO, the Central Macedonia Region, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2021-2027 Regional Operational Program (ROP) for Central Macedonia. TBF is a member of the International Book Fairs Forum and ALDUS UP – the European Book Fairs Network. 

With the support of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Read also: Reading Greece: The Ιnternational Professional Program of Thessaloniki Book Fair Continues its Dynamic Course; Reading Greece: Thessaloniki Book Fair- 20 Years of Books and Ideas; Reading Greece: Sharjah is the Guest of Honour at the 20th Thessaloniki Book Fair