WATERTOWN — The Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada published two new literary volumes in Armenian at the end of 2016, Sarkis Vahakn’s anthology of short stories called Dzaghgakagh badmvadzkneru [Selected Stories], and Kevork M. Garabedian’s collection of poetry titled Siroy brismag [Prism of Love].
Tekeyan has been publishing books for almost four decades, starting in 1978 in Boston with a celebration of the poet Vahan Tekeyan’s birthday. It publishes both literary and historical works. The list of publications includes 39 volumes — 21 published on the West Coast and 18 on the East. It has presented the world with the works of numerous noted contemporary diasporan Armenian writers, as well as famous literary authors toward the end of the arc of long careers. The names published include Alek Klijian, Jacques S. Hagopian, Kurken Mahari, Zareh Melkonian, Antranig Dzarugian, Antranig L. Poladian, Dr. Khachig Boghosian, Vahram Geokjian, Hagop Asadourian, and Garig Basmadjian.
Vahakn, a talented Los Angeleno, has written a 350-page book which includes 25 of the author’s published and unpublished works. This work becomes the fortieth in the Tekeyan publication series. He is a productive writer who in the last fifty years has remained a respected fixture in the Armenian diasporan literary world. He has published nine volumes of stories, plays, novels and literary essays. His novel, Arshile Gorky, a fictionalized biography of the famous artist, won the Tekeyan Cultural Association Literary Prize in Armenia.
Garabedian lives in Reno, Nev. The nature of his work may be linked to a diasporan Armenian school of writing which began with Vahan Tekeyan and continued with Vahram Mavian, Smpad Derunian, Zareh Melkonian and Nerses Tamamian. This may be called the Melkonian School because it reflects the warm atmosphere, and patriotic and Armenological approach of the Melkonian Educational Institute of Nicosia, Cyprus, with which many of these writers were connected. His new volume is 176 pages long, and is the 41st in the Tekeyan publication series.
The two new volumes have been printed by Michael Nahabet, president of Yearbook, Inc. His firm uses the latest technology and specializes in the publication of yearbooks for secondary schools.
The Publications Committee of the Tekeyan Cultural Association has decided to continue the publication of the works of diasporan Armenian writers as part of an effort to maintain a high level of quality in published Armenian literary writing.
It is worth noting that in recent years, both intellectual and non-intellectual circles have pointed to the crisis in the Western Armenian language, which finds itself in its death throes. Consequently, a struggle, both on organized and uncoordinated levels, has begun for the defense and salvation of this language.
The Publications Committee of the Tekeyan Cultural Association is contributing in a practical manner to this poignant struggle, promoting and popularizing whatever remains in the diaspora as worthwhile literature. Its members include Vatche Semerdjian, Edmond Y. Azadian, and Hagop Vartivarian.
Those who wish to obtain copies of the two new volumes may contact the central offices of the Tekeyan Cultural Association at 755 Mount Auburn Street, Watertown, MA 02472-1509, telephone (617) 924-4455, or email [email protected] The cost of Vahakni’s volume is $25, and that of Garabedian’s work $15.