Monday, June 16, 2008

Gartal: an Armenian American literary reading series



Gregory Djanikian
Lola Koundakjian
Arthur Nersesian

Wednesday June 25
6 - 8 pm
downstairs at the Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street
between W 4th and Bleecker
West of 6th Ave in Greenwich Village
Subway: ACEBDFV to W 4th St
212 989-9319 for reservations and info
$10 cover includes a drink

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


Gregory Djanikian was born of Armenian parentage in 1949 in Alexandria, Egypt, and came to the United States when he was 8 years old. He has published five collections of poetry with Carnegie Mellon University Press, The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance, Years Later, and most recently, So I Will Till the Ground¸ poems dealing with the Armenian genocide of 1915, the author's boyhood in Alexandria, and his eventual immigration to the United States with his family. His poems have appeared in numerous publications including The American Poetry Review, The American Scholar, Boulevard, The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and in over 25 anthologies and textbooks. He directs the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lola Koundakjian's poems have appeared online on GROONG, and in print in the Armenian Weekly; she has interviewed Armenian poets, visual artists and musicians for the Armenian Reporter, and, written book reviews for the Armenian Weekly. Lola runs the Dead Armenian Poets' Society and the Armenian Poetry Project, a blog containing text and audio clips.

Arthur Nersesian is a real New York writer. His novels are a celebration of marginal characters living in the East Village and trying to survive. Nersesian's books include The Fuck-Up, The East Village Tetralogy, Unlubricated, Chinese Takeout, Suicide Casanova, Dogrun, Manhattan Loverboy, and most recently, The Swing Voter of Staten Island. He was an editor for The Portable Lower East Side, which was an important magazine during the 1980s and early 90s. When The Fuck-Up came out in 1997, MTV Books picked it up and reprinted it in a new edition for hipsters everywhere. Soon Nersesian was no longer known only to a cabal of young bohemians on Avenue A. His work has been championed by The Village Voice and Time Out.

ABOUT GARTAL: Since December 2002, Gartal ("to read" in Armenian) has been an independent forum for both established and emerging writers of Armenian descent and/or writers dealing with Armenian themes to read their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and dramatic texts to the public. Coordinated by writer Nancy Agabian, Gartal brings together, via the dual acts of reading and listening, diverse Armenian constituencies, from the progressive to the traditional. A particular effort is made to give voice to Armenian stories that haven't been widely heard, including those of mixed race, various religions, different economic backgrounds, and gay and lesbian Armenians. For more information about the series, email

No comments: