children of ararat
by Keith Garebian
Keith Garebian’s most personal book to date, Children of Ararat, is the poignant recollection of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. It is part of the Dektet 2010.
Children of Ararat is made up of 56 poems broken into four parts, and is dedicated to Garebian’s father, a survivor of the Armenian genocide. Garebian says, “I figured I owed my father homage because we never had a good relationship for most of his life. We came to a sort of reconciliation towards the end of his life, but I figured I owed him homage. I also wanted to bury the dead because it’s a subject that’s been denied by Turkey systematically for 95 years.” The Armenian genocide was the massacre of over 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, and is considered to be one of the first modern genocides.
In 2013, Garebian received the prestigious William Saroyan Medal, named in honour of the great Armenian American dramatist and author. Created by the Ministry of Diaspora in Armenia, the award is granted for contributions to the dissemination of Armenian culture in the Diaspora, prominent achievements in the sphere, and contributions to the relations within Diaspora Armenian communities.
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Keith Garebian is a widely published, award-winning freelance literary and theatre critic, biographer, and poet. Among his many awards are being shortlisted for the Freefall Magazine Poetry Award and the Gwendolyn MacEwen-Exile Poetry Award in 2015, and the GritLit Poetry Award in 2016. He won the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara Branch) Poetry Award (2009), the Mississauga Arts Award (2000 and 2008), a Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Award (2006), and the Lakeshore Arts & Scarborough Arts Council Award for Poetry (2003).
Keith is the author author of 24 books (eight of poetry) to date. He has been a juror for the Gerald Lampert Award and other poetry competitions. Some of his poetry has been translated into French, Armenian, Hebrew, Romanian, and Bulgarian.
There are approximately 10 million Armenians worldwide, and Garebian is one of a minority of diaspora writers who write only in English. He attributes the award chiefly to his two books, Pain: Journeys Around My Parents (a memoir published in 2000 and long out of print), and Children of Ararat (a collection of poetry about his Armenian father and the Armenian genocide of 1915).
~ Mississauga News