Three Greeks operating in the literary field were honored for their contribution in preserving the Greek language in the U.S. during this year’s Greek Literature celebration. The honorees were publisher Leandros Papathanasiou, writer Eleni Floratou-Paidousi and journalist-writer Ioannis Michalakis.
Haverford College History Professor Alexander Kitroeff presented Papathanasiou’s work, stating that he has helped the Greek community for more than fifty years. In 1962, Papathanasiou created Athens Printing, which selflessly printed notices and leaflets against the Greek military junta. Over the years, he founded a publishing house, Pella Publishing, which has its own offices in Manhattan.
Kitroeff also noted that Papathanasiou had published many books by Greek Diaspora writers, stressing his creative collaboration with the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Queens College.
Floratou-Paidousi was one of the founding members of the Greek Cultural Center in New York, while she has a rich writing history, mainly in poetry.
Chian Federation of America general secretary Nikolaos Papagiannakis presented the work of veteran Greek Diaspora journalist Michalakis who has moved back to Greece since the mid-80s.
Papagiannakis noted that Michalakis has been working as a journalist since 1978 when he worked for the National Herald, initially in its New York offices and later in Athens. He wrote various short stories and narratives inspired by Greek migrants. Furthermore, he stated that Michalakis was one of the advocates for founding the Chian Federation Cultural Department.
Finally, Dodecanesian Society of America President Giorgos Andriotis noted that this was the fourth consecutive annual event by Greek Diaspora organizations, as well as the fact that “Greek literature is the pinnacle of Greek identity.”