Yerevan, Armenia / Toronto, Canada
Poetry Manuscript Coaching
With Keetje Kuipers
I was born and raised in Toronto to Armenian parents from Lebanon. In 2007, I came to Armenia for what was supposed to be a five-month volunteer internship, and (minus a couple of short stints in the US) I’ve been living here since. It’s an uncertain, existentially troubling time in Armenia right now, and I try to make sense of it all by listening to and telling stories. I co-founded the Tumanyan International Storytelling Festival, which takes place every summer in the mountains of northern Armenia. And I co-produce Country of Dust, a narrative podcast about life in a changing Armenia. My writing is published or forthcoming in the New York Times, Mizna, Poetry Northwest, Audubon Magazine, and others. At Under the Volcano, I’ll be joining the Poetry Manuscript Coaching cohort with Keetje Kuipers. I’m working on a collection of poetry and prose that explores landscapes of resistance, uprootedness, and how these forces can shape our lives – the rifts and the growth that can emerge. I’m digging deep into my family’s story of survival through the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the forced displacement that the indigenous Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh have faced just in the past few months, and all that courses through and between these two ruptures.