The International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA) has announced the second annual Young Armenian Poets Awards, a contest for emerging Armenian writers between the ages of 14 and 18.
This year’s entrants are asked to consider the following prompt: In “Let’s Build a Bridge,” poet Marine Petrossian writes, “my country is not your country but maybe some of my dreams are your dreams also.” How can poetry serve as a bridge between Armenia and the over five million persons of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside it today? What kinds of conversations might be necessary between Armenians and the world or across the diaspora itself?
We encourage submissions from any young writer who identifies as Armenian, no matter gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, creed, national origin, socio-economic class, educational background, personal style/appearance, citizenship and immigration status or political affiliation. Submissions will be read by IALA board members and judges Gregory Djanikian, Arminé Iknadossian and Raffi Wartanian. Awards will be granted for the top three poems, which will be published in the online cultural arts magazine h-pem. Deadline for submissions is 11:59PM (Eastern Time) May 31, 2022.
“In times of uncertainty, there is nothing more crucial than our poetic lineage to continue with new voices. The future is young,” says IALA board member and poetry chair Arthur Kayzakian.
“Once again, we’re hoping to honor the next generation of Armenian poets with an opportunity to be read and a platform to be recognized for their work,” says contest director Alan Semerdjian. “Last year’s contest drew submissions from several countries, including the United States and Armenia, and we’d like to see that expand to anywhere and everywhere Armenians live across the globe.”