Two translators and a writer receive International Armenian Literary Alliance grants

The International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA) has awarded $2,500 grants to poet Alexa Luborsky for her work-in-progress, Deportation Route, and to translators Thomas Toghramadjian and Margarit Ordukhanyan for Yeghishe Charents’ Land of Nayiri (Երկիր Նաիրի) and Ruben Filyan’s Your Country’s Ambassador (Քո երկրի դեսպանը), respectively.

Alexa Luborsky is a writer of Western Armenian and Eastern European Jewish descent. She is an MFA candidate in poetry, an H. Kruger Kaprielian Scholar and a Rachel Winer Manin Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow at the University of Virginia. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Bennington Review, Black Warrior Review, Guernica, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, LIT Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, the Offing, Pleiades, The Journal and West Branch, among others. She is the interviews editor for Poetry Northwest and reads for Meridian. Born in Toronto and raised in Rhode Island, she currently resides in Charlottesville, VA where she is working on her first collection of poetry about genocidal aftermaths and diaspora. You can find out more at www.lexaluborsky.com

Thomas Toghramadjian is a deacon of the Armenian Church, a teacher and a student of Armenian literature. Born and raised in the United States, he received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College in political science, English and Russian studies before repatriating to Armenia in 2019. Between 2019 and 2021 he completed a two-year fellowship with Teach For Armenia, living and teaching English in the village of Debed in Lori Province. Thomas is currently pursuing a master’s degree in modern Armenian literature at Yerevan State University, writing his thesis on Yeghishe Charents and the Symbolist movement. Read Toghramadjian’s recent translation piece here.

Margarit Ordukhanyan, Ph.D. is a New York-based scholar and translator of poetry and prose from her native Armenian and Russian into English. In addition to contributing translations to collections and anthologies both in the United States and abroad, she also studies literary bilingualism, translation theory and the role of translation pedagogy in language and humanities curricula. Among others, she focuses on the works of exophonic Armenian women writers, including Goar Markosyan-Kasper, whose Russian-language novel Пенелопа (Penelope) she is currently translating into English. Narine Abgaryan’s To Go On Living, co-translated by Ordukhanyan and Zara Torlone, is forthcoming from Plough Publishers. Ordukhanyan was the Fall 2022 Translator-in-Residence at the University of Iowa’s Translation Workshop and a 2023 National Endowment of the Arts Translation Fellow. She is currently a fellow at the Vartan Gregorian Center for Research in the Humanities at the New York Public Library. 

The International Armenian Literary Alliance’s Creative Writing Grant awards $2,500 annually to one Armenian writer whose work-in-progress shows exceptional literary and creative ability. In 2023, the grant, judged by Gregory Djanikian and Raffi Wartanian, was awarded for a collection of poetry, and in the coming years, to works of creative nonfiction and fiction, as well as other mixed genre forms.

The Israelyan English Translation Grant from the International Armenian Literary Alliance was made possible by a generous donation from Souren A. Israelyan, whose funding will ensure more Armenian literature is translated into English. IALA’s 2023 Israelyan English Translation Grant, judged by Dr. Myrna Douzjian, Nairi Hakhverdi and Tatevik Ayvazyan, was open for any work of literature (in any form) written in Eastern Armenian and published any time after 1900.

In 2023, the International Armenian Literary Alliance also offered the Israelyan Armenian Translation Grant – made possible by a generous donation from Souren A. Israelyan as well. However, from the submissions received, judges Anna Davtyan, Armen Ohanyan and Zaven Boyajyan were unable to award a translation that met IALA’s requirements. Instead, the grant will be reserved for 2024.

International Armenian Literary Alliance
The International Armenian Literary Alliance is a nonprofit organization launched in 2021 that supports and celebrates writers by fostering the development and distribution of Armenian literature in the English language. A network of Armenian writers and their champions, IALA gives Armenian writers a voice in the literary world through creative, professional, and scholarly advocacy.

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