Name Sona Anushavani Ter-Hovhanissian
(Per Birth Certificate)
Pen Name Sona Van
Birthplace Yerevan, The Republic of Armenia
Profession Poet, Author, Essayist, Publisher
Languages Armenian, Russian, English
Citizenship Republic of Armenian (Birth-Present)
The United States of America (1978-Present)
Education Yerevan Medical Institute (Doctorate Degree) 1975
American University of California (Masters of Clinical
Awards - Cultural Ministry of Armenia Gold Medal
- Movses Khorenatsi Medal Recipient
- Ambassador of Armenian Language Medal
- Ministry of The Diaspora Gold Medal
- Golden Apricot Film Festival Medal of Recognition
- California Chamber of Commerce Woman in Literature Award. 2013
- Saint Petersburg Spiritual-Cultural Organization’s Medal of Recognition
- Recipient of The Fridtjof Nansen Foundation of Armenia Award for Humanitarianism and Compassion. 2017
- Winner of The Homer European Medal of Poetry and Art for her Polish Translation of Libretto for the Desert (2018) and Winner of the Klemens Janicki International Prize (2017)
- Numerous International Literary Recognitions, Honorary Diplomas, Awards, and Prizes.
Sona Van is an Armenian Born author who has published 14 books of poetry that have, to date, been translated and published in 20 different languages around the world. She has lived in Los Angeles, California since 1978.
Sona Van’s poetry have been translated into over twenty languages, to date. These include English, French, Russian, German, Farsi, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Polish, and Ukrainian. She has pubished nine named volumes of poetry.
Between 1996-1997, Sona Van was the Editor/Publisher of «Եղիցի լույս» (Let There Be Light) cultural and literary monthly journal in Los Angeles, California. Since 2006, she has been the co-founder and patron of «Նարցիս» (Narcissus) cultural, art and literary journal which she has also been the editor of since 2013.
In 2013, she was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Cultural Ambassador Award by the Armenian Embassy in Los Angeles for her remarkable contribution to the preservation of the Armenian language and culture.
In 2018, the Polish Translation of Sona Van’s Libretto for the Desert, was awarded the Klemens Janicki prize for International poetry. In Poland, she was also awarded the Homer Medal which she received at the Homer Awards Ceremony in New York in 2018.
Sona Van has several other completed works in various stages of publication, including several more international translations of her highly acclaimed, Libretto for the Desert. with Spanish, Chinese and Kenyan translations pending publication.
REVIEWS AND PRAISE FOR SONA VAN
“Sona Van is a model for contemporary poets, both in the depth of her poetic thoughts and the complexity of her poetic art.”
- Darius Thomas Lebioda
Poet & Publisher
Sona Van’s works are charged with great energy, simplicity, beauty, universal messages to the world, reflecting ancient patterns with the most contemporary tools.
- Stanley H. Barkan
Poet & Publisher
It is as though her words are written upon steamed glass with the light touch of a fingerprint sharing secrets with the reader. She is speaking with her sisters buried beneath the desert sand whose bones can be uncovered until this day (if you dig a little). After reading her book, I only have one desire: to go to that desert.
- Ragip Zarakolu
Writer, Publisher, Human Rights Advocate
Sona Van’s hauntingly beautiful poetry conjures up powerful images of those souls who perished in the desert. Her evocative words speak for the one and a half million innocent Armenian men, women and children who were silenced during the Armenian Genocide.
- Rep. Adam Schiff
[Sona Van’s] moving poems makes one understand and identify with the trauma of genocide and denial.
- Yair Auron
Israeli historian, Scholar, and Genocide Studies Expert
Like a vocal signal sounding loudly in the indifferent ear of the modern world, Sona Van’s words take you to the root of human existence. She is a shining star in the poetic universe. I am proud to be her contemporary.
- Hranoush Hagopian
Minister of the Diaspora
Republic of Armenia
Sona Van arrives as the new Sappho of our time, with a velocity of thought that exceeds the velocity of lightening. She achieves an aesthetic and spiritual balance in the trinity of universe, god and man, that is unprecedented.
- David Gasparyan
Sona Van’s conceptual chronology starts at least from Narekatsi (10th Century). She has inherited from her immortalized literary ancestors the combination of ontological openness and practical ingeniousness. She is not lured by traditional constraints. She in no way abandons her voice, rhythm, and associative freedom. Sona Van is referred to as “The New Sappho.” She is new in everything. But, the most innovative thing about Sona Van’s poetry is her natural sense of time—a sense that is deeper and more ancient that time immemorial.
- Ilya Falikov
Poet, Translator, and Literary Critic
The ultimate poetic effect is not only acoustic, but also a symphonic and existential understanding that delivers the reader into a pleasant vertigo, causing them to lean upon a person nearby. This is the seeing woman’s dialogue with the mannequin of time.
- Yuri Belyavskiy
Edior of Culture Magazine
SonaVan Official Website 2016-2018©