Gartal and the AGLA NY present: An Evening of Literary Pride


Gartal and the AGLA NY present:

“An Evening of Literary Pride”
June 20th, 2009
6 PM

LGBT Community Services Center – Room 410
208 W. 13th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011
212 620-7310 /
Subways: ACE, 1239 to 14th Street
Suggested Donation $5

RSVP and get more information on the Facebook Event Page

Gartal and AGLA NY have asked writers and poets to read selections related to the issue of pride, a loaded term for Armenians and queers alike. Hosted by Arthur Nersesian, famed East Village novelist of such books as The Fuckup, Chinese Takeout, Manhattan Loverboy and his most recent, The Sacrificial Circumcision of The Bronx. Introduced byNancy Agabian, author of the new memoir Me as her again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter. Reception to follow.

Readings by:

David Ciminello
Amy Ouzoonian
Aaron Poochigian
Margarita Shalina
Hrag Vartanian

More about the writers after the jump.


David Ciminello’s fiction has appeared in the literary journal Lumina. His short story “PD XOX” appears in the forthcoming anthology Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest. His original screenplay Bruno (a finalist in the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting) was produced and occasionally appears on DVD as something vaguely resembling the original story. David has received his MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. He currently lives in New York City where he works as a writer and teaching artist.

Amy Ouzoonian is a writer, performance artist and editor. She is the author of Your Pill(Poems, Foothills Publishing), Editor of In the Arms of Words: Poems for Disaster Relief(Poems, Sherman Asher Press). She is currently a graduate student at The New School and is working on a series of performance pieces that incorporates her work with music and dance called “Waiting Journey.” She lives and creates in Queens, NY.

Aaron Poochigian attended Moorhead State University from where he studied under the poets Dave Mason, Alan Sullivan, and Tim Murphy. After traveling and doing research in Greece on fellowship, he earned his Phd in Classics from the University of Minnesota. Forthcoming translations include Sappho’s poems and fragments for Penguin Classics; Aeschylus, Aratus and Apollonius of Rhodes in the Norton Anthology of Greek Literature in Translation; and his edition of Aratus’ astronomical poem, The Phaenomena, from Johns Hopkins University Press. His original poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Arion, The Dark Horse, Poetry Magazine and Smartish Pace. He now lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY.

Margarita Shalina was born in Leningrad and raised on New York’s Lower East Side. Her poetry has appeared in Poems for the Retired Nihilist V. 2 (Fortune Teller Press, UK, 2007),, New York Nights, and as a broadside for Poetry Motel. She has written essays for ZEEK Magazine and Three Percent, the website that accompanies Open Letter Press. She was a contributing translator to Contemporary Russian Poetry(Dalkey Archive Press, 2007) and is the Independent Press Buyer for St. Marks Bookshop. She lives in New York.

Hrag Vartanian
is an Armenian-Canadian writer, critic and cultural worker. He lives in New York and his work has appeared in the Art21 blog, AGBU Newsthe Brooklyn Rail, NYFA’sCurrentHuffington Post, Modern Painters and contributes a street art column, “Re:Public”, to ArtCat Zine. He serves on the board of the Ararat Quarterly and the Triangle Arts Association. He also blogs daily at He is gayly married and hopes that one day his marriage will be legally recognized across America and around the world.

ABOUT GARTAL: Since 2002, Gartal (“to read” in Armenian) has been an independent forum for both established and emerging writers of Armenian descent and/or writers dealing with Armenian themes to read their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and dramatic texts to the public. Coordinated by writer Nancy Agabian, Gartal brings together, via the dual acts of reading and listening, diverse Armenian constituencies, from the progressive to the traditional. A particular effort is made to give voice to Armenian stories that haven’t been widely heard, including those of mixed race, various religions, different economic backgrounds, and queer Armenians. For more information about the series, visit or email

: Since 1998, the purpose of AGLA NY has been to provide space for lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender Armenian-Americans, their partners, and their allies to come together as a community. The forum to network fosters our visibility and strengthens our cultural and ethnic ties to the queer communities and Armenian communities to which we each belong. We meet monthly at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York, NY. For more info, visit,

Postcard photograph & design by New York-based photographer Aram Jibilian

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