By Jennifer Manoukian
The Armenian Poetry Project has been an essential resource for readers interested in Armenian poetry since its founding five years ago. Formatted as a blog, the site features daily posts with poetry from both nineteenth and twentieth century masters, like Taniel Varoujan and Vahan Tekeyan, and lesser known contemporary poets writing around the world. Although the majority of the poems are written in Armenian, in an attempt to more accurately represent the diasporic nature of the Armenian people, the site also includes a significant number of poems written on Armenian topics, but in languages more familiar to the poets. Additionally, English or French translations occasionally accompany the Armenian text to expand the reach and impact of Armenian poetry beyond Armenian-language readers.
Created and maintained by Lola Koundakjian, the Armenian Poetry Project is the largest compilation of Armenian poems available free of charge online and is the only site to so dramatically span eras, continents and languages. The site also includes audio recordings of select poems, available to download and listen to on your iPod, and a RSS feed that can be activated to deliver a new poem to your inbox each morning.
Koundakjian’s noble efforts are surely making Armenian poetry more relevant and accessible to a younger, more technology-oriented generation of Armenians by allowing them to become better acquainted with another facet of their heritage in a modern way. The shared ideas and human emotions that these Armenian poets convey through their poetry transcend national boundaries and time-periods and foster in their readers a solid connection to their past and a sense of belonging to the vast network of Armenians living and writing throughout the world today.
Click here to visit the Armenian Poetry Project.