collaboration IALA X h-pem | Seen by Armenians by Alessandra Agopian Alessandra Agopian is 16-year-old a junior at Horace Mann School in New York. She is a proud Armenian with a passion for poetry and creative writing, following in the footsteps of her great grandfather, famous poet and writer Sisag Varjabedian. Alessandra's submission is the honorable mention of the 2023 Young Armenian Poets Award. Continue to read her submission.
collaboration IALA X h-pem | Mother my shadow by Isabel Nargizian Isabel Nargizian is a 17-year-old proud Armenian born and raised in LA. Currently a freshman at UCLA, Isabel is studying psychobiology and pursuing her passion of composing music on the side. Classically trained in piano, she began branching out in the last two years, forming her musical identity as a singer/songwriter. While she always perceived herself a musician before a writer, her aptitude to express herself through lyrics inspires her to also write poems. To Isabel, poems are lyrics with a unique melody, one each reader silently creates in their head based on the tempo and rhythm words are interpreted. Isabel's fervor to continually support the Armenian community enables her to vocalize people’s needs and opinions in her work. Isabel Nargizian is one of the winners of the 2023 Young Armenian Poets Awards. Continue scrolling to read her winning submission.
collaboration IALA X h-pem | The Children of Armenia by Sofia Viana Ogulluk Sofia Ogulluk is a 14-year-old freshman at Manhasset High School on Long Island, New York. She is a passionate writer, who loves to write in all kinds of genres and styles. Some of her favorite styles of writing are poems, novels, and songs. In addition to writing, she loves to participate in Armenian Dance, Broadcast Journalism, Girl Scouts, and Theatre. In her free time, she likes to learn languages, hike, travel, and spend time with friends. A fun fact about her is that she also has attended AGBU Camp Nubar for the past four summers. Sofia Ogulluk is one of the winners of the 2023 Young Armenian Poets Awards (YAPA). You can read her winning submission below.
collaboration IALA X h-pem | Anahit's Legacy by Vladimir Mkrtchian Vladimir Mkrtchian is a sixteen-year-old student attending Wellington C. Mepham High School on Long Island. Mkrtchian writes in English, Armenian, and French and is pursuing a Seal of Biliteracy in the French language. He won several regional and district-wide writing contests, earning an honorable mention at the Walt Whitman Birthplace 2023 Student Poetry Contest, and publication of his works in his school’s literary magazine, Fragments. Currently, he is an assistant teacher at the Holy Martyrs Armenian Language School in Queens, New York—teaching the Armenian language to Nursery students while also writing monthly issues on behalf of the school in the church’s newsletter, Narrec. He continues to write today, sharing his Armenian-influenced works with his teachers, friends, and the district in hopes of spreading awareness and bridging the gap between American and Armenian communities. Vladimir Mkrtchian's poem "Anahit's Legacy' is one of the winners of the 2023 Young Armenian Poets Awards. Read Vladimir's haunting poem below.
feature Navasard: Our old New Year made new Did you know that Navasard is one of the top growing queries on Google that lead to h-pem? While you may be surprised to hear our “11 facts” plays a key role in demystifying one of the most obscure pre-Christian festivals, be sure to read our exclusive piece by Hratch Demiurge on the ancient Armenian New Year—his “funny” take comes with a crescendo of poetic delights! Hratch Demiurge, comedian, poet, teacher and translator of Daniel Varoujan's Pagan Songs has generously granted h-pem the right to publish his English translation of Navasardian aghotk ar ditsouhin Anahit (“Նաւասարդեան աղօթք առ Դիցուհին Ահահիտ” | “Navasardian Prayer to the Goddess Anahit”)—Siamanto’s soulful prayer to the “golden-footed” deity who presided over the annual festivities of the month Navasard. You can find it at the end of the article below.
submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'In front of William Saroyan bust' by Varoujan Der Simonian At a time when people in Armenia are mourning the fallen heroes of Artsakh, one man seeks wisdom from the "crying" bust of the mid-twentieth century Armenian American writer William Saroyan in his hometown, Fresno.
submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'The exiled crane' (Artsakh trilogy, #3) by Harasharzh Generations of Armenians have been haunted by the crane, one of the most potent and emotive symbols ingrained in the Armenian psyche. Ever since Komitas Vardapet addressed the bird in his soulful song of a wanderer, “Oh crane, don’t you have news from our homeland?” it has been associated with ill omen, leaving the question unanswered. In the final poem of the “Artsakh Trilogy” Harasharzh gives an ironic twist to the folk-based story of the past. Steeped in renaissance style and contemporary references, the poet’s words act like a mantra in these trying days.
submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'New Navasardian, a sullen ode' (Artsakh trilogy, #2) by Harasharzh "New Navasardian, a Sullen Ode" is Harasharzh's second poem published by h-pem. The poet addresses Daniel Varoujan, a martyr of the Armenian Genocide, looking for wisdom in his eponymous pagan song, while the Artskah war is entering its most virulent phase. Resilience in dealing with loss remains an amorphous mix of grim sacrifice and hope, as the poet evokes the ancient gods of Armenian mythology, and challenges Varoujan in his optimism about the nation's future.
submission #ArtsakhPoemsOnHPem | 'Vaspurakan’s echo' (Artsakh trilogy, #1) by Harasharzh Can we expect war to give rise to creative beauty? What is the role of poets in contemporary warfare where sensational media leaves little to the imagination? Do poets still have to bear testimony to war? Stir feelings? Raise arguments? Can war poetry become a path to redefine identity? In "Vaspurakan's Echo," the first poem of the "Artsakh Trilogy," Harasharzh, a young American-Armenian poet, draws answers from history, literature, and the spaces between.
multimediaGuide Poem | Artsakh’s ‘The legend of the mountains’ On Sept. 27, the peaceful people of Artsakh awoke to the sound of missile strikes crashing down on their homes. In the two weeks since, this storied, ancient homeland has become the battleground for renewed violence. As an arts and cultural platform, we hope to offer some solace, strength, and solidarity through the written form. The words of beloved Artsakhtsi poet and playwright, Vazgen Ovian (1932-1987), ring as true today as they did when he penned them over 50 years ago…
multimediaGuide Soft as velvet: Miqayel Voskanyan & Friends' ‘homey’ tribute to ‘Makhmur Aghjik’ For the past nine years, the Miqayel Voskanyan & Friends Band (MVF Band) has been cementing their place in the Armenian music scene—and beyond. Their distinct take on the folk genre has taken them on tour across Europe, Asia, and the U.S., and there is hardly a club or venue in Yerevan where they have not jammed. These days, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced musicians inside. But the folks at MVF Band are undeterred. Check out the music video of their latest song, a beautiful cover of “Makhmur Aghjik,” below!