(Komninos Konstantinos Zervos)
Born December 15, 1950, in Richmond, Victoria, Australia; married Michelle Harrsion (separated); children: Zanthi, Maxim (sons). Education: Monash University, B.Sc. (with honors), 1973; University of Queensland, M.A., 1996; Griffith University, Ph.D., 2002. Hobbies and other interests: Drawing, painting, playing the Turkish baglama (long-necked flute).
Home—Labrador, Queensland, Australia. E-mail—[email protected]
Kraft Foods Ltd., research microbiologist, 1974-75; Australian Greek Welfare Society, Richmond, Victoria, Australia, outreach youth worker, 1975-76, youth services officer, 1983-84; Richmond Child Care and Family Centre, Richmond, director, 1976-78; Jetset Tours, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, travel consultant, 1978-80; Tsakpina Coffee Lounge, Melbourne, staff member, 1980-83; Department of Community Services, Melbourne, welfare worker trainer, 1984-85; writer, performer, and facilitator of creative writing workshops, 1985-99; Griffith University, Labrador, Queensland, Australia, lecturer and postgraduate student supervisor, 1999—.
Australian Network for Art and Technology, Australian Association of Authors, New South Wales Poets Union.
Human Rights Award for poetry, Australian Human Rights Commission, 1991; named Ros Bower Community Artist of the Year, Ros Bower Memorial Trust/C.C.D.U. Australia Council, 1993; high commendation, Electronic Literature Organization Literary Awards, 2001; high commendation, Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts (Tokyo, Japan), 2001.
The Komninos Manifesto, Fat Possum Press (North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1985.
The Second Komninos Manifesto, Fat Possum Press (North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1986.
Komninos, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 1991.
The Baby Rap and Other Poems, Oxford University Press (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1992.
Komninos by the Kupful, University of Queensland Press (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia), 1994.
Wordsports, Koala Munga Press, 1989.
High Street, Kew East, Angus & Robertson (North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia), 1990.
Venus of Marrickville, 1993.
Cyber Poetry, 1998.
Cyberpoetry Underground, 1998.
Also author of three produced plays. Author of poetry, music, theater, and circus works performed by professional companies, including Double Cross, 1986, Rap It Up, and Eye of the Law. Contributor to anthologies, including Soft Lounges, Fringe Arts Network, 1984; Homeland, Allen & Unwin, 1991; and Poets Union, 1993. Contributor of poetry to literary journals, including Big Bang 1 & 2, Overland, Artforce, Queensland Writer, and Idiom 23.
Komninos is the pen name of Komninos Konstantinos Zervos, a writer and poet who has published and performed his poetry, written plays, published a children's picture book, and worked to strengthen the presence of poetry on the Internet. Since 1995, he has devoted himself to developing kinetic and interactive poetry that can be accessed via computer. He has taken this interest into the field of education as well, working at Griffith University as part of the CyberStudies major program there. He encourages students and artists to create new ways to use and integrate media and technologies to create expressive works. He has worked extensively with children.
Outside the teaching realm, Komninos has gained a reputation as one of the most popular performance poets in Australia. Taking his work to a wide variety of performance spaces, he presents his work without music, dance, or any of the other theatrical underpinnings commonly employed by performance poets. His poetry frequently appears to be long columns of free verse but is built on a foundation of traditional rhythms. When performing, Komninos frequently uses a swift, fast-paced delivery. He believes in a poetry that can be appreciated by everyday people, rather than something that can only be valued by academics. Geoff Page, discussing Komninos in A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry, found that in printed form, weaknesses sometimes became evident in Komninos's poetry that might not have been obvious when they were performed. Yet Page added, "Komninos does have many real abilities," particularly his "feeling for the movement of a conversation and his ear for colloquial speech." Furthermore, Page said, in Komninos's poetry "the function of dialogue as a reaffirmation of human contact rather than as a transmitter of information is persuasively illustrated."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Page, Geoff, A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry, University of Queensland Press (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), 1995.
Komninos Cyberpoetry Site,http://www.gu.edu.au/ppages/k_zervos (October 1, 2006).
Komninos Home Page,http://users.bigpond.net.au/mangolegs/kom/cv00.html (October 1, 2006).
Komninos Zervos: The Komninos Manifesto, 2003,http://www.latchkey.net/poets/komninos_zervos (October 1, 2006).
Other Voices International Project,http://othervoicespoetry.org/ (October 1, 2006), information on Komninos Zervos.
Rhizome,http://rhizome.org/ (October 1, 2006), information on Komninos.