Tag Archives: gay

“Homoerotic poetry and Yeghishe Charents” – AGLA NY Spring Lecture with James Russell 4/2 at 8pm

JR Russell St PetersburgAGLA NY is pleased to present a talk by Harvard Professor of Armenian Studies James Russell on “Homoerotic poetry and Yeghishe Charents” on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015, 8pm, in room 310 at the Manhattan LGBTQ Center; 208 West 13th Street, New York, NY.

Please join us for an evening of poetry, analysis, community spirit and learn about some fascinating aspects of modern Armenian poetry and culture.

Prof. Russell is an energetic speaker and a fascinating figure. Born in New York City he has been together with his partner Dennis Cordell, a teacher, painter, photographer, and scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, for 35 years. As an undergraduate at Columbia he was in the Gay Activists’ Alliance. He paints, plays guitar (really badly), rides a motorcycle, and is learning Chinese. He is writing a book on the Armenian poet Missak Medzarents, which he hopes to finish this spring.

Some years ago, Russell deciphered, transcribed, translated, and published in facsimile a number of homoerotic poems by the great Soviet Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents. The manuscripts were hidden with other documents on the eve of the poet’s arrest and murder during the Great Purge of 1937. Russell explains: “I was given copies in the collection of the poet Gevorg Emin, who as a boy had known Charents. My article was reprinted in the Yerevan journal Ink’nagir and aroused controversy: there is considerable homophobia in Armenian society.  The late medieval poet Catholicos Grigoris Aght’amarts’i wrote a love poem whose most likely addressee was a beautiful male youth. There is nothing unusual about that, or about the imagery he employed, which was and is commonplace in the Islamicate cultures amongst whom many Armenians lived and continue to live. Homosexual feelings and acts are defined differently, comprise part of one’s identity in a different way, and have a different context in the Near East than in the modern West. But they are there. Perhaps the greatest poet of modern Greece, an east Christian country and culture close in many ways to Armenia, was C.P. Cavafy, whose homosexuality was the subject of most of his verses. In civilized countries today the human and civil rights of gays and lesbians are protected by law; but the struggle of my generation, who lived in the time of the Stonewall uprising, is not yet finished. After a lifetime in Armenian studies I will reflect on being gay, on what gay poetry is, and on the homoerotic poems of Charents in the larger context of his great work.”

Russell has also taught at Columbia University and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He is the author of numerous works, including Zoroastrianism in Armenia and Bosphorus Nights: The Complete Lyric Poems of Bedros Tourian. A few recent publications are “The Book of the Way (Girk‘ chanaparhi) of Yeghishe Charents: An Illuminated Apocalyptic Gospel for Soviet Armenia,” Armenian Studies Program Occasional Paper Series, University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2012; “Armenian Secret and Invented Languages and Argots,” Acta Linguistica Petropolitana, 2012; and “The Seh-lerai Language,” Journal of Armenian Studies  (2012-2013).“

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The Part of You That is Me: A Reading of Queer, Crossed and Hidden Histories from Multiple Diasporas

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Inspired by the recent stories from Turkey of hidden Armenians in family trees, the readers for Gartal: The Part of You That Is Me will be sharing stories, poems and nonfiction on hidden and shared histories – from various cultures and identities, queer and otherwise. 

Since 2002, Gartal (“to read” in Armenian) has been an independent forum for both established and emerging writers of Armenian descent and/or multicultural writers dealing with related themes to read their poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and dramatic texts to the public. For more information, email nancyagabian@gmail.com.

Gartal presents:

The Part of You That is Me:
A Reading of Queer, Crossed and Hidden Histories from Multiple Diasporas

Featuring readings by Danielle Abrams, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Lola Koundakjian, & Alan Semerdjian

Sunday, May 11, 2014 6 – 7:30 pm

Bowery Arts + Science
308 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
Subways: F to 2nd Ave; B,D,F,M to Broadway-Lafayette; 6 to Bleecker Street; N, R to Prince St.
http://www.boweryartsandscience.org/events/223-gartal-the-part-of-you-that-is-me

$10 admission

Hosted by Nancy Agabian
Sponsored by the Armenian Gay and Lesbian Association of New York

For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/events/262316063935285/

 

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Drink and Drag AGLA NY Fall Social Event

Hi AGLY NY Friends!

This month, instead of our regular meetings at the LGBT Center, AGLA NY is having a social event!

Please join us on Thursday November 14th @ 8:00 PM at Hardware Bar (697 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036; Between 47 & 48th St). We welcome you to come and meet your fellow AGLA NY members and enjoy happy hour ’till 9 and drag around 11!

Please RSVP by confirming your attendance on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/317825021693721/?ref=22

We hope to see you there!

We did it! AGLA NY Successfully Fundraises for WOW Collective Book

Our Kickstarter Project to fund the publishing of “Two Years in Correspondence”, a new book by the Women-Oriented Women’s Collective in Armenia has been a huge success and has raised over $2,000.  The money raised for this project will be used to help create, design, publish, and distribute this book of letters and correspondence from the group.

The level of support for the project has been amazing and we are proud to have helped the WOW Collective raise the funding to make this project a reality.

Follow updates on this project and others at  Queering Yerevan.

Thank you everyone for helping us make this possible. We are happy to see there are soo many people willing to support projects for and/or by LGBT Armenians.

Help Fund a New Book from the Women-Oriented Women’s Collective in Armenia

Affiliated with the Women’s Resource Center (WReC) in Yerevan, Armenia, the Women-Oriented Women’s (WOW) collective—a group of Armenian queer and straight artists, writers, and activists—is planning the publication of two years of its online electronic correspondence, beginning from its inception in 2007.

The correspondence includes original emails (in Armenian and in English) written by members of WOW discussing the foundation of the collective, the conceptual details and debates about outreach, awareness, art projects such as “Coming To You To Not Be With You” (August 3-4, 2008), and other important conversations on LGBT issues in Armenia. Some discussion threads include the translation and coining of new phrases in Armenian regarding gender and sexuality, accounts of coming out to self and family, and arguments on the goals of a feminist art collective to present radical views on gender. The book is scheduled for publication in August 2010.

The Armenian Gay & Lesbian Association of NY is proud to be helping the Women-Oriented Women’s Collective in Armenia raise funds to publish this important book.  For more information on The WOW Collective and to help fund this project, please visit the project page on Kickstarter.com

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aglany/two-years-in-correspondence-from-the-wow-collect

Presentation on Homophobia in Armenia

We’ve posted a video from last month’s presentation on Homophobia in Armenia and already within hours the homophobes have started to lash out against the video. Please visit the video on YouTube and post comments of support for greater awareness about issues of homophobia in Armenia and the global Armenian community.

View video on YouTube.