Atina Poems


Emma Roper-Evans





Atina Angles



Site specific: Cartiera/Paper factory


Vats empty of all

But air

Fans still spinning

In said air

Lit by rose windows

Spilling light onto shards of glass,

Broken tiles, manufacturing rubble,

Strewn over acres of floor.

Green submarine lustre of forest

Closing in

Tight, tight round the edifice

Snug corset of emerald

And sage

Darkening factory floor to grotto

Making a sacred space

Where once people,

Manually pressing and pulping

Laying and drying


Creating reams of pale paper

For language.

Snow white sheets

On which ink

Sprawled where it will.


Home now to bugs,


The occasional goat

Its busyness quieted

As slow dereliction

Creeps pitifully up the stairs


Manuscript to Abandonment

Drawn on by artists now

Spinning their webs of

Meaning in the dark

Dragging space into light

Ruin into

Abstract Modernity.





Mountains, too


Layers of red net

Onto bold cliff

Framed by soft woods

Sheep grazing


Forces of the


Soaring up

Through rock,

Into bright

Lucid air.



Live intervention



Police presence

Eeee orrrr

Eeeee orrrr

Artists on mountain

In breach

Of all laws


As usual





Bricks. Wire.

Tree trunks.


Useless for all else

But creating sheep

Magical monuments

To place.

Skeins of meaning



Natural Engagement




Flying leaves



Round artists’ heads

While they prepare

To show.



Post Partum Impressions


Rain drinking trees

Spout steam

Into the newly green

As art sinks into

The landscape

Onto Roman pavements

Sabine walls



At last





24 Hours in Atina


Venti Quattro ore in Atina

Paesaggio Sonoro



1. – Uno


Hooting owls gliding through deciduousness.


2. – Due


Flapping bats on window panes lined in silver


3. – Tre


Bell church sounding in the still night, signs of life still.


4. – Quattro


Sweeping woman coming out of her house at dawn.


5. – Cinque


Cats hungry for all things.  Thin and needy.


6. – Sei


Fleas on cats buzzing and jumping.  Symphonies in fur.


7. – Sette


Stick clattering on cobbles as the lady ventures out


8. – Otto

La macchinetta del Café

Coffee machine – Belching fragrant dark into china white.


9. – Nove

Buongiorno – People greet each other under a fine sun.


10. – Dieci

Rullio del tamburo

Drum roll of shutters.  Shop opening.


11.– Undici

Tintinnio e fruscio

Tinkle and rustle as money changes endless hands.


12. – Dodici


Solar beating on all surfaces in an equality of light for 1, 2, 3, 4 hours of liquid time.



Pomeriggio / Afternoon


4. – Quattro


Yawns as Siestinos stretch and reach into the day


5. – Cinque

Canta e spruza

Fountain ringing and singing to a square of lions


6. – Sei


Feet slapping smooth marbled pavements worn down by a millennia of peoples


7. – Sette

Bruzio e lampo

Buzz and flash of electric lights that zizz the rooms into the night.


8. – Otto


Cutlery  bashing into food and mouths – Cling . . . Clang!


9. – Nove

Cincinnare . . . cincinnare

Glasses, clinking Salute to us all.


10. – Dieci


Dogs restless and barking,

making sure we know they are here


11. – Undici


Doors closing.  Keeping the night out, the people in.


12. – Dodici


Snores of the houses under Saturn’s bi-polar stare.









Emma Roper-Evans is a London based writer, translator and interpreter.  She won a Glimmer Train Open Fiction Award and a Füst Milán Prize for literary translation from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.  In Summer 2017 she took part in the Atina Artist Residency in Lazio, Italy.  She has two collections of short stories, Triangulations and Floating Sopranos, and is completing her first novel.  She has worked with her daughter, the photographer India Roper-Evans, on Locus Criminis involving a photo of a set-up crime scene, accompanied by a storyparagraph about the murder/suicide/death etc.  This was shown in: The Fall of Rebel Angels, Castello 1610/A, Venice (56th Venice Biennale) 2015; POP up FUCK off, Broadway Studios, London, UK, 2015; and Chinese Open – Year of the Sheep, QPark, London, UK, 2015.  She took part in #51% Remember Her show organised by Rebecca Feiner, London, March 2017, and is helping curate the literary side of Feiner’s 2018 #100 Remember Her to celebrate 100 years since female suffrage to be held at the same venue in April 2018.  Emma Roper-Evans is online at