Jacque Hagopian Presents New Book at TCA Center


Jacque Hagopian and members of the TCA committee

ALTADENA, Calif. — Famous diasporan poet Jacque S. Hagopian’s lyric novel, In Love with Liloush, was presented to the public on Sunday, February 19, at Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Beshgeturian Center. It was organized by the Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Los Angeles Chapter.

Hagopian is not a stranger to the Tekeyan family. Last year his book about Vahan Tekeyan, In Search of God, was presented by three TCA Chapters; Los Angeles, New York and Montreal.

An audience of more than 120 arrived to hear Hagopian speak. Opening remarks were made by Lora Kuyumjian, who described the program and then invited everyone to get acquainted with each other and partake in wine and light snacks.

The first presenter was Prof. Osheen Keshishian, publisher/editor of the Armenian Observer and a member of TCA’s Central Board of Directors. His task was to introduce the author and dwell upon his vast accomplishments as a poet, over a period of 70-some years.

Hagopian was born in Jerusalem in 1917. In 1919, the Hagopians moved to Cairo, Egypt, where he studied to be a pharmacist and met his wife, Azadouhi. They married in 1947 and had four children. In 1952, the Hagopians move to Sydney, Australia and in 1967, settled in Pasadena, Calif. This is truly the plight of any Armenian living in the diaspora.

Hagopian published his first book in 1938, and has henceforth written more than 50 books. The central theme of his poems, noted Keshishian, is love. Love of God, love of family, love of Homeland and finally love of mankind. The presenter then moved on to describe the author’s personal characteristics. Fear of God, love for Armenia, sincerity and truthfulness are some of the traits that distinguish Jacque Hagopian, concluded Keshishian.

The musical interlude featured Gagig Badalian, who performed three popular love songs, continuing with the evening’s central theme of love, as portrayed throughout the book, In love with Liloush.

The second presenter, Kuyumjian, spoke about the book. In love with Liloush is the second of a trilogy of books that are dear to the author, noted Kuyumjian. The first was In Search of God, published in 2009, and the third, yet to be published, is a collection of love letters addressed to his wife, Azadouhi.

This book, the presenter continued, has three parts; Before the Big Day, the Big Day and After the Big Day. The Big Day referred here is the day of the author’s wedding. Kuyumjian’s presentation was accompanied by poetic recitations from the book rendered by three of her students from AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manougian High School in Pasadena; Sevag Ghazarian, Rakel Parseghian and Ari Kazanjian.

Finally, Hagopian took to the podium to thank the organizers, the presenters and the public in attendance. He then read three of his poems with a passion and charisma that energized the audience.

— Kevork Keushkerian