Yannis Kondos was born in 1943 in Egion in the Peloponnese though he spent much of his childhood living in various Greek towns. He settled in Athens at the age of seventeen and considers himself an Athenian. He opened and ran a successful bookshop before moving to Kedros publishers, where he has worked for twenty-five years as a reader. During this time, he also had his own radio programme on one of the national networks, has been a regular contributor with articles on literature, art and theatre to newspapers and magazines and, in recent years, has taught literature in the Kostas Kazakos Drama School.
He published his first collection of poetry, Circular Route, in 1970 and has subsequently published a further ten collections: The Chronometer (1972); The Unforeseen (1975); Photocopies (1977); In the Dialect of the Desert (1980); The Bones (1982); By an Anonymous Monk (1985); Gratuitous Darkness (1989); At the Turn of Day (1992); Absurd Athlete (1997) and The Moon's Hypotenuse (2002). In addition, he has also published two selections of his poetry, When a Drum is Heard over the City (1992) and Pins in the Clouds (1999), a volume of essays, The Noble Metals (1994) and a book for children, Aristeides, the Little Hippopotamus (2001). His work has been translated into numerous European languages. In 1998, he was awarded the State Prize for Poetry for his collection, Absurd Athlete.