the beatniks. He has published in both languages and is the editor of the Aegean Review, a periodical publication devoted to Greek and Greek-American issues. Chouliaras (b. 1951) writes a minimalist poetry drawing on a post-modern aesthetics. Nikos Spanias ( 1924- 1991) perceived himself as a poete maudit. He explored the darker and seamier side of New York in poems that occasionally remind one of Lorca collection A Poet in New York. Theodosis Athas ( 1936- 1973) was one of the most promising poets writing in Greek. He began with traditional poetic forms and themes to move by the end of his short life to more experimental ones. Influenced originally by the Greek folk song, he made a transition to more startling forms under the influence of the blues.
What remains controversial among Greek scholars today is whether writers such as Nikolas Calas and Nanos Valaoritis or Andonis Decavalles can be called Greek-American, since they had already formed their aesthetic sensibilities by the time they arrived in the United States. Moreover, Calas and Decavalles wrote only in Greek and published their poems in Athens. Thus they remain inaccessible to an English-language public and instead seem to belong to the Greek literary canon. The questions facing the American critic are inaccessibility of language and also the radical alterity of the themes and stories, since most of the English-language authors write about Greece and make little or no references to the United States or to immigration. The task that lies ahead, then, is not only to define the canon of this literature but also to find ways to talk about it without compromising its difference or integrating it within the canon of either American or Greek literature. The task is also to move beyond the easy paradigms that American critics have extrapolated from a limited number of texts or literatures such as the Jewish or the Italian-American. One should not deny the interface among different ethnic/immigrant literatures, yet the study of "smaller" literatures might offer interesting insights that overturn the critics' long-standing assumptions. Indeed, the "deviant" literary production of a certain group might reveal, in the end, the critics' own deviant critical/theoretical angle. But more significantly, the study of how a certain group crosses the ethnic boundaries in literature might offer paradigms of less deviant sociopolitical behavior than the ones we encounter in "real" life today.
-----. Tragoudia ton Kairo tou Sigan. New York: Ivikos, 1969.
Bita Lili. Blood Sketches. Trans. Robert Zaller. Miami: Guevara Press, 1973.
-----. Erotes: Five Love Poems. Trans. Robert Zaller. Miami: Guevara Press, 1969.