Monday, September 27, 2021

IALA’s (International Armenian Literary Alliance) Young Armenian Poets Awards announced

APP wishes to congratulate the three poets who won IALA's Young Armenian Poets Awards, as well as the poet who received an honorable mention. Below are their poems previously published in H-pem online magazine: 

Sarkis Anthony Antonyan: I Meet the Gravedigger Burying a Soldier from Artsakh

Please, let me swallow the rain

               to save this soil.                He needs a good home,

                                                                      a dry cavern to sleep.

I will not

                            be long, I promise.

                                         His exoskeleton,

            soaked in military pattern,

                                                       must take one last

                           breath of the world around it.

Let me see the red on

                                         his chest one more time,

                                                                                   poked into 

the plush           like acupuncture,

                                                        almost deliberate.

                                                                       Do you know

                              who is responsible for                  this act? 

              If not,                                  I will tell you. 

It was like

                              this.      At home, we were glued to

the bottom of a well and                 stuffed with sand.

             And I didn’t know him

                                                          until the

stones around us crumbled.                          Do not drop him

               quick!                I beg for you 

                                                       to take my money 

and give me his gun.       Now the flashing medallions 

              on his chest darken,

                                                        the puckering ribbons

                            washing away without sound.       How is this

              the resolution

                                                          of an incomplete history?

I have removed my voice box

                                           and placed it

               on his heart.                                    Salted,


Now,                  let me say

                                         to him:

                                                                       You are missed.


               driven to the ground with honor.              Perhaps

this exile wasn’t fated by the stars,

                             but rooted           in the obligation of our clan.

Above us,

               the clouds swirl                gray and

                             inhale to accept the light.              The Sun,

a bead of hope in their curtains

                                          claiming the parting before it.

              I do not think this story                              is over,

will never be.                    I am hesitant but:

                                                                     here is our

farewell.                                         And watch!

                             See how

                                        this cavalier has

become a snowy dove,

                                                       rising through the ashes

                                        and sunlight,



Sarkis Anthony Antonyan is a student at Holy Martyrs Ferrahian High School Chatsworth, CA. He is  17 years old.


Sofia Demirdjian-Lara: I See You in the Jacarandas

I look at the Jacaranda tree 

In front of my apartment 

I hear your whispers 

In the wind, 

I feel your goosebumps 

In the cracks of your skin, 

And within them 

I walk into the closet of a dream. 

I can feel you smiling at me 

Through the veins of the leaves 

I see myself pondering 

In the nest above your head 

Feeding my children. 

I am a bird 

In another life 

By your side. 

I am one with the wind 

Blowing kisses 

In your direction 

So that you can feel them 

On your cheeks 

So you can blush with the rosy pink 

That used to hide 

Within the dark forests 

Of your makeup drawer 

Isn’t it lovely, 

How I can see my life 

Now that you stand 

Right before my eyes. 

Isn’t it lovely, 

How I can see myself 

Now that you are gone.

Sofia Demirdjian-Lara attends Heritage School in Glendale, CA. She is 17 years old.


Lucine Ekizian: Go Light on the Sweetness

Replacing the chamomile in my tea 

With the compact flowers, with purple petals, 

Hugging yellow centers, 

Encompassing millions of 

Beginnings, endings, 

And middles. 

I add the floral palette not to remember, 

But to forget-me-not. 

Does the honey cause a paucity of flavor? 

My moral compass spins as 

I pour in the sweetness. 

I will not drink tea without honey,

I will not consume honey without tea. 

As my soul lives there, and my body here, 

I live in both worlds, 

I live to acculturate.

Lucine Ekizian attends Blair High School in Pasadena, CA and she is 15 years old.


Natalie Abadjian: o White (Honorable mention)

As I pick up my #2 pencil, I’m left with 5 full moons to choose from. 

None of them represent me, I circle what is most “appropriate.” 

White, compiling myself with genocidal colonizers hiding behind the name of my country’s religion, the first nation to accept Jesus as their savior. 

Dismissing my 1.5 million ancestors, 

ancestral blood, 



5,000 18/19 year old martyrs. 

Succumbing to the prioritization of oil over human life, propaganda, gaslighting, mocking, injustice, human rights violations, & blood money. 

As idolized politicians camouflage their support through fraudulent systems, our hearts become vegan at the hopes of one day being recognized. 

The history of Noah’s descendants being re-“written” while the silence that prevailed bomb shelters for 45 days lingers, 

waiting for what once was. 

As these words drip from a demoralized diaspora’s lips, 

the juice from our pomegranate veins seep, 

our black bushy unibrow(s) mending the bridges between our ancestors that we never got to do. 

With mustard seed faith 

we thumbtack our “unanswered” prayers to the front of our skulls. 

we mournfully tread with cynicism as omnipotent as Ararat. 

The same way you, unapologetically, fund terrorists who value my head, if beheaded, at $100, while indigenous Armenians come to a point where no word in the English vocabulary describes our emotions. 

I’m unapologetic Amerikkkan school system, 

for the next time you see none of the zeros filled in. 


Natalie Abadjian attends Pasadena High School in Pasadena, CA. She is 15 years old

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