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Always a Sea by Stavroula Petrelli

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Stavroula Petrelli appears to be the first openly lesbian poet in contemporary Greece. With her two published poetry collections in the 2000s, she writes to uplift queer women while amplifying the stories of all women who were cast aside in the history of her land. In Always A Sea, Petrelli situates lesbian love within a troubled past. Her poems are linked together by short accounts of women in antiquity, little gods, feminine entities who have been condemned, obscured, and forgotten. She seeks a timeless language to speak of love between women, empathy and solidarity. Water, waves, islands and ships become symbols of fluidity, turmoil, transition. Seeking to feel encompassed and included, Petrelli turns the sea into a collective space, reclaimed as a cultural signifier for feminine experience and eroticism. Piecing together the multitudes of such experience, Always A Sea becomes a haunting exposition of what it’s like to walk on the dark side of the moon with all those who came before us.

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