Thursday, January 15, 2009

Krikor N. Der Hohannesian

Krikor N. Der Hohannesian has been writing poetry for almost 40 years but until a few years ago never mustered the courage to submit his work for publication. To his utter surprise, editors took interest! Der Hohanessian's work has since appeared in many journals, newspapers and anthologies. He comes from a family of writers, artists and musicians on both sides so it is no accident that he was drawn into the arts.

The poem "Love Spell" is about his maternal grandfather, to whom he gives full credit for his love for writing and literature.

Armenag Nazar (hairig) fled Turkey (Aintab) with his young family in tow in 1910 shortly after the massacre at Adana - the handwriting already being on the wall. He was a writer and a founding editor of Baikar, which Der Hohannesian believes was the first Armenian language newspaper in the USA.

Every Armenian of his generation whom Der Hohannesian speaks with remembers one thing, if nothing else: the familial silences regarding the events of that time - his were no different. Mostly everything they learned was by innuendo and inference.
Two of Der Hohannesian's poems which appear in the Armenian Poetry Project, "The Bearer" and "The Secret", are reflections on his own experience of this phenomenon. To say that he, as a child, found it unsettling would be an understatement.

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