Meet IALA’s new advisory board members

The International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA) is pleased to introduce its new advisory board members: Shushan Avagyan, Susan Barba and Anahit Ghazaryan.

Shushan Avagyan (b. 1976) is the author of two experimental novels Girq-anvernagir (A Book, Untitled, 2006) and Zarubyani kanayq (2014), and co-author, with the Queering Yerevan Collective, of Queered: What’s to Be Done with X-Centric Art (2011). She has translated several classics of the early Soviet avant-garde into English, including A Hunt for Optimism, The Hamburg Score, On the Theory of Prose by Viktor Shklovsky (Dalkey Archive Press) and Art and Production by Boris Arvatov (Pluto Press). She revived Shushanik Kurghinian’s work by translating and publishing the bilingual edition I Want to Live: Poems of Shushanik Kurghinian (AIWA Press). Her articles, translations and interviews have appeared in Contemporary Women’s Writing, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Asymptote, InTranslation, The International Literary Quarterly, Music and Literature, Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere.

Avagyan grew up in Soviet Armenia and lived in Zambia and Ethiopia with her parents who taught there as part of the Soviet Teach Abroad Program. After graduating from Khachik Dashtents School in Yerevan, she went to study at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. She received her undergraduate degree in studio art with a focus on printmaking and book arts from Cedar Crest College, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in English studies from Illinois State University. She lives in Yerevan and teaches at the American University of Armenia, where she coordinates the Certificate in Translation program.

Susan Barba is the author of Fair Sun, winner of the Anahid Literary Award and the Minas & Kohar Tölölyan Prize, and geode, a finalist for the New England Book Awards and the Massachusetts Book Awards. She is a co-editor, with Victoria Rowe, of I Want to Live: Poems of Shushanik Kurghinian, and the editor of American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide, which won the 2023 American Horticultural Society Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Poetry, The New Republic and elsewhere, and her poems have been translated into Armenian, German, Swedish and Romanian. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard University, and she has received fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo. She works as a senior editor for New York Review Books. Learn more by visiting

Anahit Ghazaryan is a writer, visual artist and researcher from Yerevan, Armenia. In the last several years, Ghazaryan has worked with text, audio and visual materials, including photography, and most recently with documentary theater play and film. Ghazaryan was the co-producer of the Akanjogh Podcast (2019-2021), the first podcast on feminism in Armenia. Additionally, Ghazaryan has co-authored two books. The first book, Border-play | The Armenian and the Armenian, is a discussion about the relationship between two language backgrounds, Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian. Her second book Dark Matter: Notes on War came out in November 2022 and chronicles a painful, honest conversation between two friends, providing an unfiltered perspective on the personal impacts of war.

Ghazaryan has been researching the life and work of Maryam Shahinyan (1911-1996), the first woman professional studio photographer in the Republic of Turkey, for more than six years. In 2021, she curated an exhibition of Shahinyan’s original photos that she found and collected during her time in Istanbul at the 4Plus Documentary Photography Center in Yerevan. In 2022, she completed the production of “Foto Galatasaray,” a full-length documentary on Shahinyan’s life and work. The film is currently in post-production. In 2023, Ghazaryan, as a playwright, created a Documentary Performance titled “Planned Outage,” delving into the nostalgic childhood memories of those born after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Currently, she is working on a new documentary performance exploring dating culture in Armenia.

IALA supports and celebrates writers by fostering the development and distribution of Armenian literature in the English language. Founded in 2021, IALA develops emerging Armenian writers, supports established authors, promotes Armenian literature and fosters intercultural exchange. IALA’s annual programs include grants in translation and creative writing, a mentorship program for emerging writers and the Young Armenian Poets Awards, which lifts up the next generation of Armenian writers. You can learn more on

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.
International Armenian Literary Alliance

Latest posts by International Armenian Literary Alliance (see all)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.