Tintjournal Logo

Ilias Tsagas


First Language(s): Greek
Second Language(s): English


Ilias Tsagas is a Greek poet writing in English and in Greek. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ambit, SAND, FU Review, The Shanghai Literary Review, Plumwood Mountain, Beir Bua Press, Tint Journal and elsewhere. He was also a runner-up at the Briefly Write Poetry Prize 2021.


What was your favorite book as a child?

It is an illustrated book my parents bought me as a Christmas gift. The book narrates the development of human history from the prehistoric times to the era of Greeks inventing their alphabet. It struck me to read about the hunting tools prehistoric men were making from stones, the daily struggle to survive, the beginning of drawing on cave walls etc. It was an apocalypse and a wonder at the same time realising the long distance our species have crossed to today’s comforts.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I like making things. For me writing a paragraph or a poem is a craft. I like to write a piece and then look at it: does it sound and look nice, can it stand on its own saying something? I started writing/building paragraphs (prose, theatre and journalistic reports for the school newspaper) in primary school and soon I realised I will be doing this for the rest of my life.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

It has to be reading. I have a few thrilling memories of various sorts but the more I think of it, reading is by far the most adventurous experience that has stayed with me. It is hard for another experience to beat the reading, for example, of Jules Verne books that I read as a teen.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

This is definitely a Not! I hate to be distracted by anything when writing. I like complete stillness and quietness. If there is any music I like to hear, this is the rhythm of the poem/text.

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz