Thursday, May 26, 2016

James Najarian: The Dark Ages

I
For years, my mother shuttled from her garden
to the stove, from barn to sewing room to sons,
her life like an unopened work of history.
Then came the silences. Was she tired? Bored?
She hovered in her kitchen the whole day.
Skillets and glassware tumbled from her hands,
her face a cast of lead. Her garden shrank
to towering, weedy greens and wiry vines.
We did not plow it for the coming year.

II
Late Roman Britain had begun to turn
even before the soldiers were withdrawn.
With the seas unguarded, little was brought in.
Ale and lard replaced Rome’s wine and oil.
The towns dispersed, as townsfolk headed to
the countryside to try the earth. At first,
the city fathers decently tore down
deserted baths and temples. Villas crumbled.
Those who stayed grew barley in the ruins.

III
She had trouble walking, or rather starting
walking -- her feet seemed bolted to the ground,
the brain not ordering its provinces.
She spoke a rote “no, thank you”; rarely “yes.”
Her kingdom dwindled to a bed and toilet--
a quilt she planned still hanging from the wall,
bright calicoes once basted to white flannel,
seed-packets, knitting, quiet as offerings --
her life now archaeology around her.

IV
Eventually, Rome took its army home.
With Rome went every skill. The coarse pots made
in native kilns, declined, then disappeared.
Foundries halted, and with them nails vanished.
The people foundered barefoot in the mud
as shoes could not be made--or coffins either.
The dead were thrown directly in the ground.
Silt clogged the cities’ sewers. Canterbury
dwindled to a pasture, York a marsh.

V
In daylight she may keen for hours, unaware.
All night she shrieks, but does not hear her sounds.
She grips a toy she’s had since she was small,
a drowsy chimpanzee whose eyelids close.
Nurses have put her in a safe low bed;
half-buried in her sheets, she is a baby
lost in a little boat. She knows my name,
but wails, and can’t say why. At times I can
make out a single word: “no, no, no, no.”

VI
The towns and villages have emptied out.
We gather in our clans amid the dregs,
atop a hill-crest or a crumbled fort,
dwelling among the swine we kill each fall,
gorging because we cannot let them waste.
Our women scrounge for bits of bead and bronze.
They roast our gritty roots right in the fire,
or cook in cauldrons dug from ancient graves,

sepulchri: pots that once held human ashes.

James Najarian Wins 6th Annual Frost Farm Prize for Poetry

Reprinted from the Armenian Weekly

DERRY, N.H.—The Trustees of the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, N.H., and the Hyla Brook Poets announced that the winner of the 6th Annual Frost Farm Prize for metrical poetry is James Najarian of Auburndale, Mass., for his blank verse poem, “The Dark Ages.”


The prize was judged by David J. Rothman, Director of Western State Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Najarian receives $1,000, and publication in The Evansville Review. He will also be a featured reader at the Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm in Derry, on Fri., June 17, at 7 p.m. The reading kicks off the second annual Frost Farm Poetry Conference (June 17-19).
“‘The Dark Ages’ participates in what has become, over the last several decades, a recognizable sub-genre of the elegy, even if it is an elegy of death-in-life: the Alzheimer’s poem. This poem differs from all others on this theme I have ever read, however, in its successful use of an extended metaphor, in which the poet implicitly compares the mother’s loss of memory to the aftermath of the Roman departure from Britain. The poem’s six stanzas of blank verse, each nine lines long, alternate starkly between painfully clear-eyed description of the mother’s decline, and comparably evocative reimagining of the advent of ‘the dark ages,’ with the loss of wine and oil, the abandonment of towns, the vanishing of nails and so on,” said Rothman about Najarian’s poem, adding, “The result of such a strategy might have seemed predictable, but with an unsentimental eloquence and restraint that only make the unstated pain and loss that much more powerful, the poet never rhetorically asserts the connection between the alternating sections, but simply lets them stand and resonate with each other until the personal and the historical merge in ways that illuminate both. This is compelling, masterful work, not only technically adroit but also thematically fierce and focused, and emotionally profound: an intense yet also measured depiction of destruction and grief.”
Rothman went on, “With more than 600 entries, this year’s submissions to the Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry presented a tremendous range of subjects, themes, tones, styles and techniques. After spending many hours with them, my overwhelming impression is that hundreds upon hundreds of poets continue to care about craft.”
Najarian grew up on a goat farm near Kempton, Pennsylvania. He teaches nineteenth-century poetry and prose at Boston College, where he directs the Ph.D. program in English and edits the scholarly journal Religion and the Arts. His poetry has been published in West BranchChristianity and LiteratureTar River Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, The Literary Imagination, and other journals. He also published a scholarly monograph, Victorian Keats, with Palgrave Macmillan. His manuscript of poems, An Introduction to the Devout Life, has made finalist several times at volume contests, and is seeking a publisher.

The judge read all 646 anonymous entries and, in addition to selecting the winner, chose six poems for special recognition as Finalists and Honorable Mentions:
Finalists 
“Julia Hungry” by Hannah Poston of Ann Arbor, Mich.
“The Chromatist” by Aaron Poochigian of New York, N.Y.
“Crush” by Brian Brodeur of Richmond, Ind.

Honorable Mentions
“Memento” by Catherine Chandler, Saint-Lazare, Quebec, Canada
“Black Impala” by Jon Volkmer of Telford, Pa.
“The Undersigned” by Aaron Poochigian of New York, N.Y.

About Frost Farm Poetry
Frost Farm Poetry’s mission is to support the writing and reading of poetry, especially metrical poetry. The Hyla Brook Poets started in 2008 as a monthly poetry workshop. In March 2009, the monthly Hyla Brook Reading Series launched with readings by emerging poets as well as luminaries such as Maxine Kumin, Sharon Olds and Richard Blanco. From there, the Frost Farm Poetry Prize for metrical poetry was introduced in 2010, with the Frost Farm Poetry Conference beginning in 2015.

http://www.frostfarmpoetry.org/prize/

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Խոսրով Ասոյեան։ Բագին

Վանի կողերը
կ՛այրին,

ատրուշաններ
խողազուրկ
յոգնած,

կ՛որոնեն կանչը
կոչնակներուն.

կռունկներ
կտուցներով
կարմրաթաթախ
կարկամ
կ՛ողբան,

բերդաքարեր
մորթիներով
բեռնաւորուած
պղծուած
անտուն,

մայրավանքեր
խոշտանգուող
տառապող
ամէն օր,

Արեւագալի
շողերուն հետ
շողերուն պէս
կը դողան,

մեղեդիներ
շրթներով
շնչաթաղ
շնչահեղծ

«Տէ՛ր, ողորմեա՛…»
կը մուրան,

Նարեկի
էջերէն
թաց
տողերէն
խոնաւ
մոռցուող,

Խորանին վրայ
արիւնլուայ
բռնաբարուող…

Հացեկացի
կողերը լքուած
մամռապատ,

հառաչանքով
աղերսանքով
բեռնաւոր կ՛ողբան,

Մաշտոցի Սուրբ
տառերը
որբ,

Ժամանակի
որոգայթին դէմ պայքարող,
բառերուն պէս
բառերուն հետ
հնչիւններուն

կը պղծուին
կը կորսուին
ամէն օր,

էջերուն պէս
կողերուն
մգլոտած
մսող…

Ծիածանի
օրերը
կը խախտին,

կը մերժուի
խորհուրդը
գոյներուն,

կը բոսորանայ
երկնակամարը,

կը մթնի,

կը փշրուի
համակարգը,

կ՛օտարանայ
համանուագը…



Խոսրով Ասոյեան, ԿԱՆՉԸ, 2011


Sunday, May 15, 2016

ԹԱՄԱՐ ՏՕՆԱՊԵՏԵԱՆ-ԳՈՒԶՈՒԵԱՆ։ Վայրկեան

Դուռը կը բացուի
Ու դուրս կը ցայտէ հոտը.
Տարիներու ընդերքէն եկող, կեանք մը ամբողջ իր շալակին`
Կը զարնէ ու կը տապալէ զիս ակնթարթի մէջ,
Կարծես ըսելով. Ո՜չ. չես կրնար մոռնալ զիս։

Աչքս կը բանամ մշուշոտ հեռո՜ւն…
Մոմի լոյսին տակ, մանկութեան գիրկը։
Շուրջս ամբոխը աչքերը վեր յառած կը փսփսայ…
Աղօտ է լոյսը: Սարսուռ մը կը սահի ողնայարս ի վար,
Երբ համրաքայլ կը սկսիմ պտըտիլ։

Նոյն նստարանները.
Նո՜յն լուսամուտերը…
Նոյն հո՜տը…
Կը շնչեմ երկա՜ր… կը շնչեմ խորո՜ւնկ.
Գլխապտոյտը պատած է զիս։

Հո՜ն էր, որ ծունկի եկած էի, ձեռքերս զուգած.
Հո՜ն էր, որ մօրս գիրկէն փախուստ տուի ու վազեցի.
Հո՜ն էր, որ յօնքերը կիտած մամիկ մը յանդիմանեց զիս,
Ուրկէ՞ գտայ այդ փետուրը, որ նետեցի ծնկաչոք ծերունիին ոտքերուն,
Որ գլուխը կախ, լուռ կը մրմնջէր…

Ո՞վ էր զիս ներողը. օ՜հ զանգակը զարնող Հայրապետը…
Որքա՜ն բարձր կը թռչէր այդ զանգակը զարնելու համար։
Հո՜ն էր, այդ նստարանին վրայ, որ կը նստէր մեծ մայրս,
Շղարշը գլխուն, դէմքը կլոր, աչքերը ժպտուն…
Ապշած կը դիտէի բերանը. կզակը անընդհատ կը շարժէր…

Քայլերս մարմին առած` զիս հոս ու հոն կը նետեն.
Հօրս գիրկն եմ ահա, մոմ պիտի վառենք միասին…
Քիչ անդին, քով քովի սեղմ նստած ենք գոգնոցներով գոյնզգոյն.
Գրպանիս մէջ դարձեալ աւազ կայ։
«Առաւօտ լուսոյ, արեգակն արդար…»։։։։։։


Դուռը կը փակուի`
Կեանք մը ամբողջ խզելով ու տանելով հետը։
Հոտը կը մնայ…

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

One Hundred Plus Words



Three Armenian writers -- Alec Ekmekji, Alina Gharabegian and Shahé Mankerian --  have been composing in a small writing group together for years by borrowing inspiration from one another read their creative work composed in approximately one-hundred-word lyrical pieces. Many of these are interlinked--one writer's piece leaning interestingly on another's style, borrowing from his images, appropriating his words and phrases, reworking another's symbol, while his own are likewise borrowed and wrought anew.


Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 PM
Abril Books
415 E Broadway, Ste 102, 
Glendale, California 91205

















Monday, May 09, 2016

National Translation Month



The Armenian Poetry Project is a proud supporter of NTM, an organization established in 2012 which has a growing following and many translations already from the Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Latin, Arabic, Persian, and Italian. 

Please join us in supporting this worthy project which celebrates reading and writing in translation every September.




Lola Koundakjian
Curator and Producer of The Armenian Poetry Project
ArmenianPoetryProject[at]gmail[dot]com

Friday, May 06, 2016

Dana Walrath: Sosi

Day 19, Gerger Mountain

Sosi

Opening the seams each day
for the food sewn inside by Mama
brings us close to her.
The imagined wrists,
the hem,
the two sides that come together in front,
surrounding me like Mama’s arms.
The seams of the collar like her necklace,
filled with apricot flesh dried
and bitter nuts taken
from inside hard wrinkled pits
together on our roof
last summer.
I let the cracked wheat
from the hem
soften in my mouth
for hours
while we walk
and walk.
I never want to eat that last bite
from Mama.



Excerpt copyright © 2014 by Dana Walrath. Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Michael Minassian: Conversation in Connecticut

On this crisp fall afternoon, 
Jack swings the axe 
in one smooth motion,
splitting the logs one after another;
gazing out past the driveway
to the stand of bent white elms,
he pauses, then hands me the axe
as if he were asking me to write
a chapter in his latest novel.

“When I left Tehran,” he says, 
“the only thing my father said
was that we would talk again.” 

As I swing the axe down,
the loud thwack startles the crows
hiding among the elms, and I imagine
I can hear them talking in a low murmur
like smoke curling under a door.
Jack grunts and seems to dismiss 
the crows with a wave of his hand,
then fills his pipe, and lights it,
closing his eyes, and I wait for the end
of the story that I know will come,
and he says, “Of course, we never did.”

Later, we stack the wood into long piles
next to the back door, and I build a fire
in the stone fireplace in Jack’s study
while he clacks his ancient Remington
creating his father’s inner world: 
“Something has to burn,” he says, 
“if there is going to be light.”
and I picture the words flaring into flame
on the page like love annihilating loss
or black crows scattering against gun metal gray clouds
on their way to an ocean too vast to cross.

Originally published in The Aurorean, Fall/Winter 2013-14.

Recently relocated to San Antonio and Michael Minassian is adjusting to life as a Texan.  Some of his poems have appeared recently in such journals as The Broken PlateThe Comstock Review, Exit 7, Main Street Rag, and The Meadow.  Amsterdam Press published a chapbook of his poems entitled The Arboriculturist in 2010. His blog is http://www.michaelminassian.com 



Author's Note:  The Jack in this poem is based on my uncle, Jack Karapetian  (1925-1994), who wrote under the pen name of Hakob Karapents. Born in Tabriz, Iran, Jack was a prolific Armenian-American writer who wrote almost exclusively in Armenian. As a toddler, I followed Uncle Jack around the three-bedroom apartment in the Bronx and sat on his lap as he pounded away on his typewriter. In later years, he encouraged my writing and often read my poems and short stories, making comments and suggestions. After he retired and moved to Connecticut, we would  go for long walks and discuss the craft of writing. I still consider him my mentor and muse and have written a series of poems around him.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Shahé Mankerian: Where the Trees Have No Name

No one dared to climb the skeletal tree 
in the dead end alley. Its trunk without 
branches surrendered to bullet holes.

The drunk sniper spotted wayward 
children sprouting from bowing boughs. 
That's how Coconut Avo died.

He climbed the crying tree by Cinema 
Arax because he wanted to touch the halo 
on Miss Marilyn Monroe. Love forced

hefty hooligans to take miscalculated
risks in Beirut. We heard the crack first. 

Then the snap. Both the branch and Avo fell

instantly as if struck by lightning. The priest 
warned us, "The sniper shoots at drooping 
limbs and drifting children like lambs."

This poem appeared in Barzakh, an online literary journal.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Shahé Mankerian: Somerset


When Father read Maugham at the balcony, 
he didn't see the sheep blocking the traffic.

He was deaf to the screams of the taxi driver. 
When the shepherd boy banged his staff

on the hood of the Mercedes and cursed, 
May God cut your testicles, Father flipped

a page as if shooing a fly. A bearded militiaman, 
high on hashish, fired his Kalashnikov into the air.

Father sipped coffee. The sheep didn't move.
A stray bullet pierced a cawing raven. A tainted


feather found an open page, smeared words 
like clubfoot and bondage. Maugham required

a bookmark on Father's lap. 

This poem appeared in Barzakh, an online literary journal.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Kosrof Chantikian: Fiesole

1.    Morning

The yellow roses
are hanging from the century’s
old iron gratings and wood beams

where dozens of birds – sitting and whistling
make their intelligible sounds
to one another   charting out their new day

From the pensione on the hill
you see the red tile roof of the Duomo.
Farther away the sky chokes from the gray scars of orphaned air

2.    Afternoon

I hear the woman’s heavy laughter
in the house below   bouncing as it echoes through the air

I imagine she is with her friend, her lover.
Her laughter becomes part of the landscape
that makes the countryside wild and alive

I hear the woman’s laughter again as the church bells toll nearby
two vastly different sounds   one from the body of the woman
the other symbolizing the body of Christ

I wondered if these two entirely different sounds could –
if they tasted each other – be transformed by love into one another?


3.   Night

How large is the chasm between your soft flesh and rough faith?
Between faith and the imagination?

Is experience everything?

Your laughter rushing forth uncontrollably
as if the rose’s fragrance were rising to the sky

trying to break down heaven’s gate
as if Circe were calling you home   calling you to her pleasures

The church bells sounding   the sound of His body
but the body only as idea   abstraction

Laughter would not chase away the sound of tolling bells
Laughter would grab onto that sound – swallow it wholly

But can the church bells accept
your body and your laughter?

Which would you choose?

I choose your laughter and your body together

The fleshy tissue of colors
of each of your hands

and your summer fingers undressing
the wild dreams of the night sky

Saturday, April 30, 2016

10th anniversary - 10րդ տարեդարձ - 10ème anniversaire



Today is the 10th anniversary of the Armenian Poetry Project. We will celebrate it as we often do, quietly, reading poetry and happy to have achieved a few key points. 

We research and share the best Armenian poetry we can find in books and digital archives as well as through contacts with contemporary poets.  

We remain the only website to provide audio and text RSS feeds of poems written by Armenians, as well as contemporary authors on Armenian subject matters. 

We continue providing all internet surfers free access to the webpage and audio downloads 24/7/365 via RSS, Twitter and iTunes.

We celebrate APP's broad spectrum:
- gems by authors from the 19th century to the present
- introduction to out of print books
- an index by authors and countries
- experimental works by contemporary authors
- introduction of budding authors, including the APP/ASA poetry competition winners, now in its 6th year
- different languages of expression, mostly Armenian, English or French, with translations provided whenever possible

This project is curated and produced by Lola Koundakjian in New York. To contact APP, send an email to: ArmenianPoetryProject[at]gmail[dot]com.

If YOU ENJOY this website, please consider making a donation via Paypal.com by clicking on the button below. Your donations help maintain the audio website, buy books and replace equipment for the recordings as well as research in libraries. 




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ԵՂԻԱ ՏԷՄԻՐՃԻՊԱՇԵԱՆ։ԹԱՇԿԻՆԱԿՆ

Դարձեալ ձեռքըդ թաշկինակ կայ,
Եւ այս անգամ լայն, ճեփ ճերմակ,
Բոլորաձեւ զերդ լուսընկայ,
Պարիկի՜ մ՚է գոգցես վերմակ։

Մեծ է թէեւ, այլ յոյժ նըրբին.
Հանճա՞րդ է նա յոստայն փոխուած.
Մատունքդ եզերքն անոր շրջին,
Գոգցես դաշնակ մ՚է նա կախուած։

Այլ թաշկինակն ոչ ունի բառ.
Յիւր ծալսն ասեղդ ոստոստ խաղայ.
Դաշնա՜կն, այն է` բերանդ անճառ,
Մե՜ղր ի շըրթանցդ յիմ սիրտ տեղայ։

Բաբէ՜, սակայն, սրտէս խորշի՜
Մեղրն, եւ կամ հոն լուծուի յարտսուս.
Տո՛ւր ինձ ճերմակ, լայն, բոլորշի
Թաշկինակդ այդ, Սէրս, այլ ո՛չ Յոյսս։
(Մասիս, 5 Յունուար, 1907


ԵՂԻԱ ՏԷՄԻՐՃԻՊԱՇԵԱՆ (1851-1908)  «Արձակ էջեր, նամակներ, քերթուածներ»

Friday, April 29, 2016

Ինտրա։ ՎԵՐԱԴԱՐՁ

5, 7.

Նորէն սեւ նոճեաց մօտ է սենեակս ու զեղուն՝
Մարգն ի վեր կանգնած մութ ամբոխին սըլացքով,
Ու ստուերովն ոմանց որ կ’ամբառնան որմիս քով,
Ու’ անոնց անպատում սօսաւիւնով ողողուն:
Նախկի՜ն հայեցմանցս ոլո՛րտն յաւէտ երկնագով,
Ուր ապրեր էր ստէպ հայրն երբեմնի այս տըղուն,
Եւ զոր կ’ընտրեմ վայր պաշտամունքի մը ղօղուն,
Հին խանդովն հիացիկ ու’ այժմու խոհուն խըռովքով.
Ո՜ բնավայրս, եկա՛յ, ծոցիդ շատ մօտ այս անգամ,
Քու մելամաղձիկ ըստուերիդ մէջ մշտդալար
Տրտում վերացմանդ խունկը շնչել վերըստին.
Քանզի հսկայից սրտին ես ցաւը կ’զգամ,
Ցորչափ կը մտածեմ թէ վէս հոգի թրթռալար՝
Ի՛նչ անժառանգեալ մ’եմ հեռանշոյլ Ճշմարտին:

26 Նոյ. 1905

«Նոճաստան»


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vittoria Aganoor: Domani

Vivo, respiro, palpito; si libra 
baldo il pensiero in alte estasi immerso; 
la salute mi pulsa in ogni fibra 
e del mio core in ogni acceso fremito 
fremere sento il cor dell'universo. 


Domani… un soffio di rovaio; un vampo 
d'estivo sole; un piccioletto morso 
d'angue; il vapor d'un paludoso campo, 
mi prostrerà, questo di vive, libere 
forze arrestando portentoso corso. 


Pallida, muta, intorno al letto mio 
udrò bisbigliar preci, udrò singhiozzi 
spegnersi lontanando in mormorìo 
di lamenti; vorrò, ma invano, sorgere, 
stender le braccia e dire almeno:-Addio!


Ma innanzi a queste mie pupille, assorte 
oggi in fantasmi di superbi amori, 
piene di sogni e piene di splendori, 

cadrà il nero sipario della morte. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

VITTORIA AGANOOR honored in 100Lives.com

The Armenian-Italian poet Vittoria Aganoor (1855-1910) in 100 lives

https://auroraprize.com/en/armenia/detail/8624/vittoria-aganoor-poet



IL TRENO


Va nella notte l'anelante spettro 
tra le fragranze dei vigneti in fiore, 
va nella notte e da conquistatore 
schiavo il mio corpo si trascina dietro. 


Solo il mio corpo, l'inerte persona; 
ma dal possente che scintille esala 
ratto si sciolse con un colpo d'ala 
quel che laccio terren non imprigiona, 


ed a ritroso migra ad un alato 
fratel che incontro cupido gli viene; 
libere vie liberamente tiene 
sui vinti gioghi e il mar signoreggiato. 


Sì, lo spettro che torbido viaggia 
lunge si porti il frenito degli ebbri 
sensi, il tumulto, le maligne febbri, 
gl'impeti della mia fibra selvaggia; 


e a te venga, e di raggi e fior si valga 
a parlarti d'amor senza parola 
tutta l'anima mia, l'anima sola, 

e la tua cerchi, e le si stringa, e salga! 


From Aganoor Pompilj, Vittoria (1855-1910) Poesie complete [1912] (Firenze: F. Le Monnier), Ed. Grilli, Luigi.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Literary evening in Toronto - Գրասէրներու Խմբակ - May 1, 2016

Գրասէրներու Խմբակի հաւաքներու շարքը ծայր առաւ Փետրուար 2012ին ու կը շարունակուի ամսական դրութեամբ հանրութեան հրամցնել հայ գրողներու ստեղծագործութիւնները։ Հաւաքներուն նպատակը հայ գրականութեան եւ հայ երիտասարդին միջեւ կամուրջ ստեղծելն է։
Մայիս մէկին, Գրասէրներու Խմբակէն անդամներ պիտի ներկայացնեն ընտիր փունջ մը հայ քնարերգութեան աշխարհէն։ Սիրով հրաւիրուած էք. կը քաջալերենք բոլորիդ ներկայութիւնը։ Վայր՝ Համազգայինի «Յ Մանուկեան» գրադարան, Հայ Կեդրոն, Թորոնթօ։

The purpose of these monthly gatherings is to allow Armenian youth to study, research and present about their favourite Armenian author; thereby, bridging the gap between Armenian literature and Armenian youth. 

On May 1, a handful of our youth members will be presenting a series of poems that are lyrical in genre.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lory Bedikian to participate in a A Celebration of Feminist Poets Who Span a Generation

A Celebration of Feminist Poets Who Span a Generation

On Saturday, May 7th, Red Hen Press and the Women’s Center of Los Angeles will hold a benefit reading - A Celebration of Feminist Poets Who Span a Generation – From the 1960's to Present Day featuring renown feminist poets Judy Grahn and Eloise Klein Healy in conversation with up-and-coming contemporary feminist poets Lory Bedikian, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Adrienne Christiansen, Nicelle Davis, and Jenny Factor.
The event will begin with a champagne reception at 2 p.m. at the Feminist Majority Foundation/Ms. Magazine (433 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212). Tickets are available in advance for $16.00 for adults, $12.00 for students and seniors, and for $25.00 at the door. This benefit is in support Red Hen Press and WCLA - two nonprofit organizations dedicated to the shared values, voices, legacy, and impact of women writers. 
Free book, champagne, and hors d'oeuvres included with ticket.

Reader Bios:
Judy Grahn is teacher, activist and award winning author of The Common Woman Poems, Edward the Dyke, A Simple Revolution: the Making of an Activist Poet and many more. Some of her recent publications include Love Belongs to Those Who Do the Feeling and The Judy Grahn Reader. Her forthcoming (and 14th) book is Hanging On Our Own Bones. She was a member of the Gay Women’s Liberation Group, the first lesbian-feminist collective on the West Coast, founded in 1969 which established the first women’s bookstore, A Woman’s Place, as well as the first all-woman press, the Woman’s Press Collective. Ms. Grahn earned her PhD from the California Institute of Integral Studies.  Her honors include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Book Review Award, an American Book Award, an American Library Award, and a Founding Foremothers of Women’s Spirituality Award. Since 1997 Publishing Triangle, after awarding Grahn a Lifetime Achievement Award in Lesbian Letters, has issued an annual Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award. Today, Ms. Grahn lives in California and teaches women's mythology and ancient literature, Metaformic Consciousness (a philosophy created by Grahn), and Uncommon Kinship - a course that uses theories from her Metaformic philosophy which traces the roots of culture back to ancient menstrual rights at the California Institute for Integral Studies, the New College of California, and the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology.
Eloise Klein Healy the first Poet Laureate of Los Angeles is professor emerita at Antioch University Los Angeles and the co-founder of Eco-Arts. Her collection of poems, Passing, was a finalist for the 2003 Lambda Literary Awards in Poetry and the Audre Lorde Award from The. Healy has also received the Grand Prize of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and has received six Pushcart nominations. She was involved in the Woman's Building, the well known West Coast feminist cultural center, throughout the 1970s and 1980s in various capacities including as a teacher and a member of the Board of Directors. Healy was instrumental in directing the women's studies program at Cal State Northridge, started the MFA program in creative writing at Antioch University and founded Arktoi Books, an imprint of Red Hen Press.
Lory Bedikian’s The Book of Lamenting was awarded the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Bedikian received her BA from UCLA with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Poetry where she was twice nominated for the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize in Poetry. Her poems have been published in the Connecticut ReviewPortland Review,Poetry InternationalPoet Lore and Heliotrope among other journals and have been included in Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets. And, Poets & Writers magazine chose her work as a finalist for the 2010 California Writers Exchange Award. She lives and teaches poetry workshops in Los Angeles.
Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is one-sixth of the poetry collective, Line Assembly and in 2014, recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship. Her chapbook cutthroat glamours (2013) won the Phantom Press chapbook contest and her first full-length book, But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press, 2012), was selected by Claudia Rankine as the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award winner and was a 2013 poetry nominee for the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award for outstanding works of literature published by people of African descent. Her second book, a slice from the cake made of air,was released this spring from Red Hen Press; her third book, personal science, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. 
Nicelle Davis is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist. Her books poetry includes Becoming JudasCirce, and In the Circus of You. Her fourth book of poems, The Walled Wife,was released by Red Hen Press this spring. Davis’ work has been published by The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York QuarterlyPANKSLAB Magazine, and others. Davis is the editor-at-large of The Los Angeles Review and was the recipient of the 2013 AROHO retreat 9 3/4 Fellowship. She currently teaches at Paraclete and with the Red Hen Press WITS program.
Jenny Factor earned a BA in anthropology at Harvard University, where she studied with Seamus Heaney, and an MFA in literature and poetry at Bennington College. Her book the Unraveling at the Name won the 2002 Hayden Carruth Award and her poems have been featured in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Erotic PoemsPoetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry, and The Poet’s Child. Factor lives in San Marino, California and has worked as a freelance writer, editor and taught at Antioch University, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Robert SAMOIAN: KHATCHKAR


Khatchkar ! Ce mot difficile à prononcer
Par celui à qui l’arménien est étranger
Est trop vite traduit par « Pierre à Croix »
S’agissant d’une pierre gravée d’une croix d’Arménie et témoin de sa Foi.

Ami, tu devrais une fois dans ta vie
Visiter les terres chrétiennes d’Arménie
Celles qui furent historiquement siennes si tu peux
Ou celles de l’actuelle république, qui étonneront tes yeux.

Tu y verras des milliers de ces khatchkars si merveilleusement gravés
Qu’ont croirait leurs sculpteurs par des anges guidés.
De différentes tailles, mais souvent hautes d’environ deux mètres
Leurs corniches s’inclinent comme pour honorer des ancêtres.

Fixés sur un piédestal, parfois encastrés dans des murs d’églises ou de monastères
Tournés vers l’ouest, ils se dressent aussi par milliers dans les cimetières.
Leurs façades ont choisi le roux ou le gris
Par fidélité au tuf ou au grès de leur pays.

Sans vouloir rappeler la mort du Christ, leurs grandes croix centrales sont sculptées
Comme des Arbres de Vie symbolisant la victoire sur la mort et l’immortalité.
Elles veulent relier le passé vécu par l’homme dans un monde inférieur
Au futur qui l’attend au Ciel dans un monde supérieur.

Entourées de grappes de raisin et de grenades pour exprimer la vie
Encadrées par des ornements continus créant une illusion d’infini
Ces croix arméniennes prient pour le salut de l’âme d’héros ou de donateurs
Et protègent les passants contre les démons provoquant leurs malheurs.

Dès le quatrième siècle, ces khatchkars par milliers pieusement construits
Furent maintes fois par des barbares sanguinaires détruits.
Mais ils restent toujours nombreux dressés face à leurs ennemis
Comme des sentinelles, insensibles au vent, à la neige, au soleil ou aux pluies.

Ami, inclines toi avec respect devant ces khatchkars
Car c’est aux forces de l’Esprit qu’ils doivent leur art.
Et dis-toi bien que lorsque la fin de temps sera arrivée
Ces pierres diront ce qu’elles ont vu, car Dieu les fera parler.

Robert SAMOIAN
Auteur de «  La valise de mon oncle, un Legs de Mémoires »
Membre de la Société des Ecrivains Dauphinois