Obituary: Diana Der Hovanessian

Der Hovanessian, Diana, accomplished poet, translator, and longtime President of the New England Poetry Club, passed away on March 1, at home.
Diana Der Hovanessian
She received many honors not only for her poetry and translations but for her long service to the poetry community. She was the author of over 25 books of poetry and translations, several plays, and twice a Fulbright Professor of American Poetry.

She served on the boards of Poetry Society of America and the translation board of Columbia University. Honored by PEN International and the Writers Union of America with the Golden Pen award in Boston, she also has awards from NEA, Poetry Society of America, PEN/Columbia Translation Center, National Writers Union, Armenian Writers Union, Paterson Poetry Center, Prairie Schooner, American Scholar, the Armenian Ministry of Culture, and many others too numerous to list.

She was a graduate of Boston University and did graduate work at Harvard. She taught workshops at many universities as well as being a visiting poet and guest lecturer on American poetry, Armenian poetry in translation, and the literature of human rights both here and abroad. She worked tirelessly to educate the public about the Armenian Genocide. She was a longtime poet in the Mass. Schools.

Her husband James Dalley preceded her in death. She leaves two daughters, Maro Dalley and husband James Johnson of Hanna, Wyoming; Sonia Dalley and husband Mark Tisserand of Cambridge; three grandchildren, Maggie Johnson of Wyoming and Daniel and Helen Tisserand of Cambridge; sister, Helen Pahigian of West Newton; nieces, Melanie and Shushan Pahigian, Diana Madden, Mara and Nita Der Hovanesian, and nephew Anthony Pahigian.

The funeral service is at Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 145 Brattle St., Cambridge on Tuesday, March 6 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Armenian EyeCare Project, the Armenian Missionary Association of America, or the Armenian Tree Project.

View Diana Der Hovanessian’s online memorial.


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  1. We all appreciate her translations. Hopefully many including me have learned so much about Armenian poetry and Armenian poets. I certainly enjoyed her work. Thank you Diana.
    May she rest in peace. Asdvads ir Hokin Lousavore.

  2. So sorry to hear of her passing. I was a student of hers in Quincy. I just recently found a letter from her about my poetry and thought I’d look her up and maybe contact her. She was an inspiring person in my life.

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