Image by Alejandro Escamilla

The Reading Room

The Reading Room

Dear visitor welcome to "The Reading Room," the Literature section of our Festival.
Here you'll find short tales, poems, and book excerpts from the Festival's Authors & Poets.
We hope you will find it enjoyable.

Image by Pawel Czerwinski

Paul Kingsnorth is an Orthodox English writer and thinker who lives in the west of Ireland. He is a former deputy-editor of The Ecologist and a co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project.

Kingsnorth's nonfiction writing tends to address macro themes like environmentalism, globalisation, and the challenges posed to humanity by civilisation level trends. His fiction tends to be mythological and multi-layered.

Paul Kingsnorth’s debut novel, The Wake, won the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award, as well as being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Folio Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. Beast, the second book in his Buckmaster Trilogy, was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award 2017. He is also the author of the non-fiction books One No, Many Yeses, Real England, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Savage Gods, as well as two poetry collections, Kidland and Songs from the Blue River. 

Image by Daniel Lincoln
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Jonathan Jackson a multi-faceted artist who creates meaningful pieces of art through music, film, and the written word.

He is a five-time EMMY® Award-winning actor and an accompliced Musician.

He began his professional career as an actor at the age of eleven. He has been writing poetry, screenplays and fiction for over twenty years. His first book of Poems was published in 2012 titled, "Book of Solace and Madness". He second book, a non-fiction prose was published in 2015 titled, "The Mystery of Art". Jonathan's most recent book is an epic poem entitled, "The Harrowing of Hell" which envisions Christ's Decent in Hades.

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John Heers is a native of New York, a graduate of Colombia, a teacher of history and currently the founder and director of First Things Foundation. He taught in the New York City public education system for nine years before relocating to Naples, Florida, to teach at a unique, private school. He now lives South Carolina and works on First Things full time. In 3Souls, John uses his teaching experience to introduce us to the unyielding monolith that is the public education system, and his personal commitment to the Orthodox Christian faith, to demonstrate how we have lost touch with the true meaning of love.

3Souls is the story of three individuals whose lives converge in New York, and diverge in their quests to find and understand the nature of love.

Image by David Rodrigo

Haris Skarlakidis was born in the city of Drama in Greece in 1971. He is a graduate of the School of Architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and holds a master’s degree in Τheology from the University of Nicosia. Ηe is the author of the book "Holy Fire – The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the tomb of Jesus", which is the product of his on-going historical, archeological and theological research.

Covering a period of thirteen centuries, from the 4th to the 16th century, this book contains 85 historical testimonies about the descent of the Holy Fire at the Tomb of Christ every Holy Saturday.

In this short extract we present you with two historical accounts of the first millennium and two modern scientific experiments reveal the authenticity of the miracle of the holy fire.

Image by Callie Joseph

Benjamin Morris is an autodidact who has explored the intersection between Eastern Orthodox Theology and Continental Philosophy. Working out of South West England he read his way into Orthodoxy from his Charismatic background. A Railway Signalling Designer by trade, his recent work is a series of short pieces on Biblical typology.

Image by Boudewijn Huysmans

Love for all things classic led Sharon Pelphrey to Latin, ancient and medieval history, and the life of St. Brendan the Navigator. His unique relevance to every major crisis of our century, responsibility towards nature and water rights through the conduct of spiritual authority, has led her to point modern educators and performers once again to his delightful good humor and courage. Her career in Christian and secular education as well as publication has led her to Britain, Hong Kong, and across the United States for over 35 years. She is currently Presbytera and chanter at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Shreveport, where she serves beside her husband of forty-three years, Father Brendan Pelphrey.

Mountain Range

A professional iconographer and artist, Aidan has published four books and many articles, and lectured widely. his latest book on the history and meaning of festal icons is due to be published late 2021.

This short story appeared as Chapter Nine in ‘Beauty Spirit Matter: Icons in the Modern World’, Gracewing Publishing, Leominster, 2014.

Image by Annie Spratt

He was born in Greece Macedonia in 1973, and poetry and music captivated him from an early age. He was nearing the end of his studies when he got engulfed by...the real world. He is a self-taught musician who has dabbled in songwriting. He completed an EKPA Complementary Education Program (Events Management) and has been engaged in event planning for many years, mostly based on his own ideas. He began learning Octoechos - Byzantine Ecclesiastical Music when he was 37 years old, and it was essential for him to finish his job in the 23 years that it took. He is still married and has two children in the city where he was born.

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Christos Tyrekidis was born in Triantaphyllia, Serres, Greece, on September 8, 1955.
Though he works as an artist painter and an art instructor, he has been writing since he was a child.
In 1982, he contributed to the "Time" magazine's "SPIRITUAL WORLD."
In 2008, he starts the "Thoughts of Salvation" series, which responds to thousands of his adult students' religious concerns.
The International Art Society will honour "Thoughts of Salvation" with an award of excellence in 2015. In the same year, he starts writing short stories and fairy tales for his grandkids.