Virtual Pilgrimage: Mt. Tabor, In Light of the Transfiguration

St. Nersess Armenian Seminary Professor Dr. Roberta R. Ervine will lead a virtual pilgrimage to Mt. Tabor to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. This free Zoom live session will take place on July 15, 2023 at 7:00pm.

To register, go to

To learn more about this and other virtual and in-person pilgrimages to Jerusalem, visit:

Tenny Arlen — To Say with Passion: Why Am I Here? – June 27, 6:30pm

Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice is pleased to present a bilingual reading of Tenny Arlen’s important book of Armenian verse entitled Կիրքով ըսելու՝ ինչո՞ւ հոս եմ (To Say with Passion: Why Am I Here?) (Yerevan: ARI Literature Foundation, 2021). As one of the first full-length volumes of creative literature composed in Armenian by a US-born author after over a century of Armenian-American community development—this is a landmark achievement. Christopher Atamian, Dr. Jesse S. Arlen, and Arthur Ipek will read and discuss selections from Tenny Arlen’s book of verse.

The event will take place at the new gallery of Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice located at 227 E 24th Street New York, NY, 10010 on Tuesday, June 27th at 6:30pm. Note, the gallery is closed on Tuesdays and will open at 5:30 for this special event.

Please RSVP to

Arthur Ipek awarded Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowship

The late Mrs. Dolores Zohrab Liebmann was the daughter of the great early twentieth-century Armenian intellectual, writer, and statesman Krikor Zohrab. During her lifetime, Mrs. Liebmann supported students and educational and charitable organizations, with a primary concern to attract and support students with outstanding character and ability, who would hold promise for achievement and distinction in their chosen fields of study.

Through a generous bequest at her death, Mrs. Liebmann created a perpetual charitable trust designated as “The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund” for the purpose of funding advanced education and graduate study grants, which must be carried out entirely in the United States of America.

Beginning in 2022, the Trustees of the Liebmann Fund, at the suggestion of the Selection Committee, decided that the Eastern Diocese would be among the select institutions eligible to nominate one candidate per year for the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Graduate Fellowship.

The Eastern Diocese is pleased to announce that Arthur Ipek, a Masters of Science student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, has been awarded the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund Fellowship for academic year 2023–2024. Fellowships cover the cost of tuition and provide a stipend for living expenses.

In 2020, Mr. Ipek earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in Psychology and Linguistics. While still a high school student, he began interning at the Zohrab Information Center, where he worked for several years between 2015–2017. He has also taught music at Holy Martyrs Armenian Language School. On June 4 of this year, he was ordained to the diaconate at Saint Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church (White Plains, NY), where he has played the organ and served at the altar since 2020.

With experience in both natural languages (e.g., Armenian, Turkish, French) and programming languages (e.g., Python, R, SPSS), Mr. Ipek is currently pursuing courses in behavioral neuroscience, the cognitive neuroscience of memory, and psycholinguistics during his Masters program. He is also conducting research at the intersection of language, perception, and cognition, conducting studies that measure brain waves upon humans presented with sentences to process.

Mr. Ipek said, “My decision to apply to the fellowship was primarily driven by the legacy of Dolores Zohrab Liebmann and her earnest commitment to research, both to the American community at large, as well as the Armenian community. Apart from the scientific research that I intend to pursue with this generous scholarship, her establishment of the Zohrab Information Center in the heart of the Armenian community, at which I have interned for four years, has been a center of research for scholars of Armenian Studies, looking to enrich their research through its invaluable collections. There I gained experience in the rigor of conducting scholarly research, and I am grateful to be able to continue my graduate research thanks to this generous fellowship.”

The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships are awarded only to candidates who have outstanding undergraduate records, have demonstrated a need for financial assistance, are citizens of the United States of America, are enrolled in accredited colleges and universities in the United States, and have received baccalaureate degrees. The trustees welcome applications from students of all national origins who are United States citizens.

Applications for the next cycle of funding will be announced in the Fall.

Upcoming Events: Khachaturian Film & Remarkable Facts About Armenians

The Zohrab Information Center invites you to attend two upcoming events in NYC.

On Tuesday, June 6th, at 7:00pm, “Khachaturian: An Archival Film” will be screened at Kavookjian Hall in the Diocesan Complex to commemorate Aram Khachaturian’s 120th birthday. Before the screening, introductory remarks will be made by pianist and composer Şahan Arzruni.

On Wednesday, June 14, at 6:00 P.M., under the leadership of Prof. Harold Takooshian, the inaugural public forum titled “Remarkable Facts About Armenians” will be held at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 113 West 60th Street (near 9th Avenue), Room 604. There will be discussed not well known facts about Armenians in New York City (Prof. Takooshian) and in three legal matters at turnings points in history (Souren Israelyan, Esq.) that touch upon the existential question as to who we are as people and what makes Armenians so remarkable.

Both programs are free and all are welcome to attend.

Literary Lights: American Wildflowers by Susan Barba in conversation with Jesse Arlen

Our next Literary Lights event features poet Susan Barba, editor of American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide (Abrams Books, 2022) in conversation with Zohrab Center director Dr. Jesse S. Arlen. The event will take place on May 17, 2023 at 7:30 PM Eastern, at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) in Belmont, Massachusetts (No registration required).

Literary Lights is a monthly reading series organized by the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA), NAASR, and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. The series, which launched in February 2023, will be held until November in a mixed online and in-person format. You are invited to read along with the series!

American Wildflowers, edited by Susan Barba and illustrated by Leanne Shapton, is a literary anthology filled with classic and contemporary poems, essays, and letters inspired by wildflowers—perfect for writers, artists, and botanists alike.

Zoom Lecture Series on Medieval Armenian Poetry

Zohrab Info Center director Dr. Jesse S. Arlen will deliver the final two lectures in the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary 2023 Spring Public Lecture Series.

Thursday, March 9th: “Nahapet Kuchak and the Hayren”
Thursday, March 16th: “Sayat Nova and the Ashugh Tradition”

For ZOOM registration, click here. To learn more about the series, click here. To watch the recordings of previous sessions in this series, click here.

Mkrtich Naghash: A Medieval Poet for Our Times

Watch “Mkrtich Naghash: A Medieval Poet for Our Times,” a lecture by Dr. Jesse S. Arlen, to learn about the life and context of Mkrtich Naghash and get a taste of his verse in English and Armenian, to enhance your appreciation for the works of this great 15th century Armenian poet, bishop, and manuscript illuminator before the North American debut tour of The Naghash Ensemble.

Experience the Poetry of Mkrtich Naghash | Lecture & Performances

On Thursday, February 23rd at 7:00pm by ZOOM, Zohrab Information Center director Dr. Jesse Arlen’s lecture series on Medieval Armenian Poetry continues with a lecture devoted to the poetry of 15th-century poet and priest, Mkrtich Naghash.

This lecture coincides with the start of the North American debut tour of The Naghash Ensemble, a musical group that performs the poetry of Mkrtich Naghash in original compositions arranged by John Hodian.

The lecture and performances offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to delve into the life, context, and works of this little known but very talented and profound poet of the fifteenth century and experience medieval poetry alive today in the twenty-first century.

To register for the lecture, offered through the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary Spring Public Lecture series, visit:

For a list of tour dates and to purchase tickets, visit:

On March 11th, the Naghash Ensemble performs at Carnegie Hall in NYC:

To read an article about the Naghash Ensemble, click here:

Literary Lights: A Reading Series Featuring New Works by Armenian Authors

The Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center along with the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA), and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will host Literary Lights, a monthly reading series in 2023 featuring new works of literature by Armenian authors. Each event—held from February to December in a mixed online and in-person format—will feature a writer, editor or translator reading from their work, followed by a discussion with an interviewer and audience members. Audience members are invited to read along with the series.

FEBRUARYSorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

The reading series will begin with a virtual event on Taleen Voskuni’s Sorry, Bro, a queer romantic comedy in which an Armenian-American woman rediscovers her roots and embraces who she really is. Voskuni, an Armenian-American writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, will be in discussion with JP Der Boghossian, writer, founder of the Queer Armenian Library, and host of This Queer Book Saved My Life. Click here for more information.

MARCH: A Book, Untitled by Shushan Avagyan, translated by Deanna Cachoian-Schanz

In March, we’ll host an in-person event at the Zohrab Information Center in New York on A Book, Untitled by Shushan Avagyan, translated by Deanna Cachoian-Schanz. The book is about an imagined encounter between two early twentieth-century feminist writers, Zabel Yesayan and Shushanik Kurghinian, juxtaposed with a conversation between the author and a friend. Avagyan is a translator, author, and the co-founder of the queer-fem Queering Yerevan Collective in Armenia’s capital. Deanna Cachoian-Schanz is a translator working in the geographies of Armenia, Turkey, and their diasporas, at the intersection of critical, feminist and queer theory, archive and critical race studies. Cachoian-Schanz and Avagyan will engage in conversation with  translator, scholar, and teacher of the Armenian language, Lisa Gulesserian (Cover design by Cinzia D’Emidio).

APRIL: We Are All Armenian edited by Aram Mrjoian

In April, the series will highlight We Are All Armenian: Voices from the Diaspora edited by Aram Mrjoian, with both in-person and virtual events. We Are All Armenian is a groundbreaking collection of personal essays exploring the multilayered realities of life in the Armenian diaspora. Mrjoian, who will moderate both events, is an author, editor-at-large at the Chicago Review of Books, and an associate fiction editor at Guernica. Click here for more information.

MAY: American Wildflowers edited by Susan Barba

In May, we will host Susan Barba, editor of American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide. This anthology is filled with classic and contemporary poems and essays inspired by wildflowers—perfect for writers, artists, and botanists alike. Barba is the author of the poetry collections Fair Sun (2017) and geode (2020), and an editor at New York Review Books based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Barba will discuss the anthology with Jesse Arlen, a writer, researcher and Director of the Zohrab Center. Click here for more information.

JUNE: The Book of Redacted Paintings by Arthur Kayzakian

In June, we present Arthur Kayzakian’s The Book of Redacted Paintingserasure-ekphrasis poems about a boy in search of his father’s painting, which may or may not exist. The collection won the inaugural 2021 Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series award and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Kayzakian will also discuss his forthcoming chapbook, My Burning City, which integrates the author’s personal history during the Iranian Revolution, his family’s migration to the United States, and the state of living in America as a displaced, bilingual Iranian-Armenian. Kayzakian is an author, teacher, IALA Poetry Chair and Board Member, and a Contributing Editor at Poetry International.

SEPTEMBER: The Fear of Large and Small Nations by Nancy Agabian

The Fear of Large and Small Nations

The series will resume with an event on Nancy Agabian’s The Fear of Large and Small Nations, a contemporary story of an abusive relationship between a queer couple, set between the Armenian homeland and diaspora. The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. An activist, teacher and IALA Board Member, Agabian is the author of Princess Freak (2000), the first collection of poems and performance texts by a bisexual Armenian-American, and Me as Her Again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter (2008), finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Nonfiction and shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Prize.

OCTOBER: The Institute for Other Intelligences by Mashinka Firunts Hakopian

The reading series will conclude with an event on Mashinka Firunts Hakopian’s The Institute for Other Intelligences, which chronicles the transcription of a symposium at a fictive institute where machine intelligences convene annually for lectures and training on algorithmic justice.  Hakopian is a Yerevan-born, Glendale-based writer, artist, researcher, teacher, IALA Advisory Board Member, and a Contributing Editor for Art Papers and ASAP/J. Click here for more information.