Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
As Armenian American literature matures, the impact of the massacres and dispersion of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 widens in meaning and relevance. A recently published collection of poetry by Diana Der Hovanessian suggests how issues raised by those long-ago events permeate the imagination of contempory [contemporary] Armenian American writers, giving poignant focus to their work. Diana Der Hovanessian, the foremost translator of Armenian poetry into English, demonstrated this most memorably in her Anthology of Armenian Poetry. Her first volume, How to Choose Your Past (1978, Ararat Press) displayed her wit and concern with the transmission of the Armenian language in a land where it is vulnerable to extinction. The second volume of her own work, About Time includes many poems which again showcase her strengths: short, epigrammatic pieces which tease the imagination and ironic poems that echo long after the first reading. Though many of these poems deal with non-Armenian subjects, those that weave together the volume once more express the poet's love for the Armenian language and poets killed at the beginnings of the massacres.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1990