The poetry of groundbreaking Greek artist Lena Platonos takes center stage in Piercing Red: Collected Poems and Lyrics 1984–2008. Best known for her radical electronic music compositions, her innovative work as a poet has been underacknowledged, in no small part due to writing and singing in her native Greek. This book was put together to rectify this lapse, to help encounter her song lyrics on their own as literary work.
Collected here are all the poems Platonos put to music over four decades, appearing for the first time in English thanks to loving translations by Stathis Gourgouris. Careful attention was paid to Platonos’s phrasing so that the unique voicings and surrealist imagery would come forth intact. With their rapid-fire juxtapositions and dreamlike narrations, these poems are gestural and performative evocations of the artist’s vast inner world. They are performances of her soul in the realm of words. Book design and typography by Eloise Leigh.