During an October 27 press conference in Yerevan, U.S.-based Armenian poet Sona Van told journalists how Turkey seized her book dedicated to Armenian Genocide victims, reported Sputnik Արմենիա.
According to the poet, the Turkish government seized her books published by Ragip Zarakoglu last year, and now she is under persecution in Turkey.
On November 26, Armenian American poet Sona Van presented her book “Libretto for the Desert” with the support of the RA Ministry of Diaspora. The author has dedicated the book to the 100thanniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan gave a welcome speech at the event. “Many literary critics and translators, both Armenian and non-Armenian, consider Sona Van one of the greatest phenomena in the literature of our times, and I believe this is not an exaggeration. God truly gave more to Sona. He not only endowed her with not only the talent of a poet, a doctor and psychologist, but also the best human traits, that is, beauty, kindness and the charm of a woman,” the minister mentioned in her speech.
The minister emphasized that Sona Van, who is the granddaughter of an Armenian from Van, always keeps the memories of her ancestors alive and masterfully turns them into a phenomenon in her poems. “Generally speaking, what is the most appreciable in Sona Van’s poetry is that she is able to convey in-depth lyricism and tenderness of a poet to daily situations and situations that are the most non-poetic, with the perfect harmony of word, rhythm, intellect and feelings, without making any particular effort and without phony piety. With her poetry, she tries to save mankind from falsehood, mental abuse and collapse and take it towards the light and all that is beautiful,” she added.
Minister Hranush Hakobyan mentioned that Sona Van is author of five collections of poems. “Her last collection of poems entitled “Libretto for the Desert” has been translated into nine languages, including English, French, Russian, Ukrainian, German, Georgian, Persian, Turkish and Hebrew. On this occasion, I would like to cite the words of renowned Russian poet and translator Inna Lisnyanskaya: “Sona Van’s poems devoted to the Armenian Genocide should be unquestionably considered one of the most powerful poems written to this day,” the minister added.
Minister Hranush Hakobyan awarded Sona Van with the “Ambassador of the Mother Language” Medal for her notable contributions to preservation of the purity of the Armenian language in the Diaspora and for providing remarkable services to the development of the Armenia-Diaspora partnership.
Literary critics Serzh Srapionyan and Norayr Ghazaryan gave speeches devoted to the poet’s new book.
“Sona Van’s “Libretto for the Desert” crosses all borders of the conventional perceptions of words and conveys new content and perceptions. In Sona Van’s poems, the word “Deir Zor”, as a concept, is being turned into a flow of thought that is hard to understand, symbolizing the crater of life and death.”
The literary critic emphasized that Sona Van is a powerful poet who has no formalities in her poems.
Norayr Ghazaryan mentioned that the poet gives the reader the key to understanding her poems correctly with the phrase “Instead of an Autobiography” in the beginning of the book.
Armenian American poet Sona Van expressed her congratulatory remarks and mentioned the following: “I honestly wasn’t expecting such a meeting, and this was a gift for me from the RA Ministry of Diaspora and Minister Hranush Hakobyan.”
The author stressed the fact that the book was dedicated to her paternal aunt and all Armenian virgins who were subject to genocide and weren’t able to approach the altar of a church. Sona Van said that for her, the Genocide continued even after the family was saved in the form of the notes in her grandfather’s diary.
The participants of the ceremony also had a chance to enjoy Sona Van’s poems read by Merited Artist of the Republic of Armenia Silva Yuzbashyan and watch a film devoted to Sona Van.
The event ended with performances by Tsaghkazard Ensemble.
On December 2, 2015, the collection of poems “Libretto for the Desert” by Sona Van, exclusively dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, was presented at the Hayartun Center of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. The author of many collections of poems, Armenian American poet, whose works are translated into dozens of languages, attended the event.
Sona Van is already prominent in the Georgian public, her poetry collections in professional translation of poetess and translator Anahit Bostanjyan, poetess Makvala Gonashvili, poet and translator Givi Shakhnazari have been presented to the Georgian reader and are appreciated highly.
The creative evening began with video based on the book “Libretto for the Desert”, featuring Honorary Worker of Art of Armenian Republic, reciter Silva Yuzbashian. She sincerely voiced resentment and anger of a young woman killed on the road to Der Zor, who mourned brutally murdered million and a half Armenians.
Poetess and translator Anahit Bostanjyan in her remarks spoke about the career of talented poet Sona Van. Sona Van’s poetry, written in perfect Armenian, in feminine, elegant and emotional manner embodies universal human values. Her works penetrate the soul; they capture the reader and lead him to the divine and sublime, to victory and beauty, to the good and dazzling. As Anahit Bostanjyan emphasized in her statement there is much pathos and power in Sona Van’s poems.
General Director of the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival, Harutyun Khachatryan was in attendance of the creative evening. The famous film director reflected upon Sona Van’s poetry that represents love, the beauty of the soul, the glorification of man, it can enrich the reader and make him a heavenly being of created by God and human inhabited poetry.
Sona Van expressed her gratitude to the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia and the “Hayartun” Center’s administration for provided support. She also expressed her admiration for St. Movses Khorenatsi Kindergarten and the display of Gayane Khachaturyan artworks in the hall.
The poetess spoke about the collection of poems “Libretto for the Desert” and social anxiety factors in face of terrorism. She interpreted this horrifying disaster as a struggle between limited intelligence and creative talent, formed personal creed that can be defeated only by the power of poetry and arts.
Very Rev. Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of Kvemo Kartli region at the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, in his closing remarks transmitted to the people present the blessing from the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia. Father Khoren compared Sona Van’s creative evening to the preaching of perception of the world by means of poetry: Virgin Mary mourns the loss of her Son, Sona Van in her poems protests against war and murders. God did not create Evil, the sixth commandment is "Thou shalt not kill”. Sona Van calls on to follow the idea of kindness. This is a common theme in many of her poems.
Silva Yuzbashyan, who had arrived in Tbilisi with the poetess, recited Sona Van’s works. The works from recently published and translated by Yevgeni Rein Russian collection of poems by Sona Van were also recited.
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