Dear Bed Books (Տիռ պետ պըքս) announced on Dec. 31, the publication of Garin Angoghinian’s book of haikus, Հայերէն հայքու (Hayeren Haiku – Armenian Haiku).
The cross-genre book is a collection of 63 haikus written by the US-born Angoghinian on topics ranging from love, loss, politics and assimilation. It features an introduction by the book’s editor and designer Rupen Khajag. This is Angoghinian’s first published volume.
The book was published by Dear Bed Books and printed by NA-ME Press in Yerevan, Armenia.
Garin began writing short-form poetry as a way to conform to social media’s character limitations and to overcome writer’s block.
“Very often I find myself with a great idea for a title, opening line or closing, but struggle to see an entire piece from beginning to end. When writing haikus, I found it to be more like a puzzle— to bring a beginning, middle and end together in one thought while incorporating literary tools such as rhyming, alliteration and wordplay,” Angoghinian said about his process. “It is exciting to see 17 syllables come together; they can be so simple and direct or have multiple meanings and interpretations.”
One of the reasons Angoghinian decided to publish his collection of haikus was to give an alternative to those who have difficulty reading Armenian. “Most often, those still learning the language are forced to turn to children’s books to match their reading level. I hope to provide some light reading but with more relatable content,” he said.
“Garin’s haikus are raw and sincere. His subtle use of irony, hyperbole, ridicule and wordplay exposes truths and criticizes the status quo,” said Khajag. “An American-born poet producing in Armenian is a rarity these days. Not only does Garin write in Western Armenian—he does so beautifully,” Khajag added.
A traditional ginedzon (wine blessing) for Հայերէն հայքու was held at an undisclosed location in Yerevan on Jan. 3.
Հայերէն հայքու is available for purchase at Yerevan’s Zangak and Bookinist bookstores, online and in-store at Abril Books in Los Angeles, Calif., and at the Hamazkayin Bookstore in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon (Shaghzoyan Building).
Established in 2020 and based in (Virtual-)Garin, Western Armenia, Dear Bed Books is committed to publishing and republishing books in Western Armenian.
A beautiful, funny, even though-provoking set of haikus. Thank you, Garin, and congratulations on what hopefully is not your last publication.
Speaking of haiku, and poetry in general, has anyone considered sharing Armenian poetry as well as translations thereof with the Society of Classical Poets?