Hamazkayin Eastern Region announces winners of Tölölyan Prize

The Eastern Region Executive of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society is proud to announce the following winners of the 2021 Minas and Kohar Tölölyan Prize in Contemporary Literature: Dr. Karenn Chutjian Presti for her children’s book in Western Armenian Աստղիկը կ՚ուզէ արագ մեծնալ and Lola Koundakjian for her bilingual (English and Spanish) collection of poems entitled The moon in the cusp of my hand.

Dr. Presti is an award-winning author, musician, teacher, performer and lecturer at UCLA H. Alpert School of Music. She currently arranges, composes, improvises and plays for the Redondo Ballet. Dr. Presti earned her masters and doctorate degrees at USC, where she was also awarded the Koldofsky Memorial Music Scholarship, the Briggs Memorial Music Scholarship and the Recognition for Excellence in Collaborative Piano. She graduated with her bachelors degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was also the recipient of numerous scholarships. Dr. Presti’s musicological work began with her dissertation under Dr. Richard Dekmejian, “The Reality of Social Realism: Socialist Realism and Its Application to Soviet Armenian Composers.” She lectures on nationalism in music and the history of Armenian music.

Koundakjian is an award winning poet, editor and artist living in New York. She is also the founder of the Armenian Poetry Project. In 2020, Nueva York Poetry Press published Koundakjian’s third volume of poetry, The Moon in the Cusp of My Hand/La lune en la cúspide de mi mano.

Her poetry has appeared in many journals and has been translated into Arabic, Ukrainian, Asturian, French, Italian and Spanish.

Koundakjian holds a masters degree from Columbia University and has participated in many conferences. Her papers have been published in various conference proceedings.

Named after one of the major Armenian literary critics of the second half of the 20th century and his wife, a devoted teacher of that literature for decades, the annually awarded Minas and Kohar Tölölyan Prize in Contemporary Literature recognizes the work produced by talented writers working in North America. The prize is intended to encourage new work in all the major genres of literary production, as they are currently understood in North America.

Hamazkayin Eastern U.S.
The Eastern USA region of Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, consisting of nine chapters, constitutes one of the branches of the worldwide Hamazkayin family, founded in 1928.

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