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Acclaimed poet, editor, and memoirist David Kherdian will discuss and present the newly-published anthology Forgotten Bread: First-Generation Armenian American Writers, of which he is the editor, on Thursday, October 18, at 8:00 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA.
By compiling and editing the ambitious and unprecedented anthology Forgotten Bread, Kherdian has taken on the task of recovering a literature many of whose voices are forgotten or too little known today. He says, “our stories contain us and reveal us and inform us and nurture us, filling us with the real pride that comes from having lived and endured, not only with our lives intact, but with our stories told. For without our stories we are nothing.”
Literature “Reveals Ourselves To Ourselves”
Kherdian adds, “I believe that one of the results of this anthology is that America will see us differently after this, and more importantly we will see ourselves differently. We’ve been fighting the wrong battle: to be exonerated, understood, appreciated, valued, and to have a place in the world, to point to ourselves with pride, etc. We have looked to the world for this, instead of looking to find and make and reveal this for ourselves and to ourselves. This is what this book is going to make known for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. For those who can’t see this, best to close the book of life and go to sleep.”
Kherdian will discuss the importance and vitality of the generation of writers he has documented in Forgotten Bread – their importance in their own time and in ours – and offer some context to the better understanding of their work. In addition to Kherdian, also present will be Helene Pilibosian, whose poetry is included in the anthology, and Gary Goshgarian, who wrote an essay on Revere-born author Richard Hagopian. Forgotten Bread will be on sale and available for signing the evening of the talk.
David Kherdian is widely recognized as one of the most important and distinctive voices in Armenian-American poetry over the last four decades. Among his enormous output of poetry, memoirs, and children’s books are Homage to Adana, Friends: A Memoir, I Remember Root River, The Dividing River/The Meeting Shore, Letters To My Father, The Road From Home, and The Golden Bracelet (illustrated by his wife, Caldecott Award winner Nonny Hogrogian). He has served as the editor of Ararat Quarterly, Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic American Literature, and Stopinder: A Gurdjieff Journal for Our Time. He has founded three small presses: The Giligia Press, Two Rivers Press, and The Press at Butternut Creek.
Admission to the event is free (donations appreciated). The NAASR Center is located opposite the First Armenian Church and next to the U.S. Post Office. Ample parking is available around the building and in adjacent areas. The lecture will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.
More information about the lecture is available by calling 617-489-1610, faxing 617-484-1759, e-mailing, or writing to NAASR, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478.
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Belmont, MA
September 28, 2007


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