Authors give fresh perspective on infamous World War II battle

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Authors give fresh perspective on infamous World War II battle

Some of the greatest poetry has come out of war, and the mixture of verse, art, history and one of World War II’s epic battles will take centre stage at Portland Library next month.

Glenelg Libraries will welcome Poli Tataraki and Michael Winters to the library on June 13 for a special Libraries After Dark Author Event.

Poli and Michael have collaborated to create Into the Moonlit Village, a bilingual (English and Greek) book of poetry focusing on the Battle of Crete, featuring linocuts printed by Michael in 2004 at a printmaking workshop at the Julia Street Creative Space in Portland.

While many have written about this epic battle of World War II, none have attempted this particular kind of distillation.

Strange phenomena co-exist in the ancient landscape: Homer and Hitler, shepherds and paratroops, frescoes, fishing boats and HMS destroyers.

In this setting, the exhausted and under-equipped Australian soldiers seem to be coming of age under the benign gaze of the Bull, transplanted into an ancient land to fight against a brutal cutting-edge technology.

Acutely aware of the paradoxes it takes on, Into the Moonlit Village simultaneously commemorates, laments, informs, honours, beseeches, and deplores.

This is a book that will serve equally well as an introduction to the Battle of Crete, or as an extension for the seasoned reader looking to be surprised by something completely unprecedented.

Michael Winters is a Victorian born artist whose love affair with Greece began when he sailed there on a one-way ticket after graduating from the Caulfield Institute of Technology in the early 1960s.

In 1990 he began producing work in relation to the Battle of Crete based on the sacrifice of Australian soldiers in the battle, and this was exhibited in Crete as part of the 50th anniversary of the battle the following year and in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra in 2005.

Poli Tataraki was born in Crete and raised in Australia.

She embarked on a teaching career after graduating from university and has since retired, writing full time.

She got the urge to produce something on the Battle of Crete after returning there for the first time as an adult and hearing the stories from relatives who were in the Resistance to Nazi occupation.

The free event will be held at the Portland Library on June 13 from 6.30pm to 8pm, with light refreshments provided.

Bookings are preferred, phone 5522 2265 or message Glenelg Libraries on Facebook or Instagram.

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