Contact information

•October 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

To contact Lola Koundakjian about these articles, please write to lkoundakjian[at]yahoo.com

Zoom reading at the Armenian Institute,UK

•July 2, 2020 • Leave a Comment

The Armenian Institute is honoured to welcome Lola Koundakjian to share her remarkable and incisive poetry. Poet and artist, Lola was born in Beirut, is based in New York City, and writes in her native Armenian as well as English. Lola is an energetic activist for poetry, gathering people together for workshops and events, spreading her love of the art form.

She is widely published with poems appearing in journals and websites as well as her own publications. For 25 years she has organized readings dedicated to the “Dead Armenian Poets’ Society” and has worked on editing written and audio texts for the multilingual “Armenian Poetry Project” since 2006. Lola has read her poetry at festivals and events around the United States, South American, Europe and Armenia.

Our events are free on Zoom but we need your help to continue producing exciting programmes. Please visit our Support page to make a contribution.
https://www.armenianinstitute.org.uk/support-us

July 2, 2020 virtual reading

Lola Koundakjian's poetry books (updated March 2020)

•March 17, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Lola’s third poetry collection, The Moon in the Cusp of my Hand was published by Nueva York Poetry Press in December 2019. The book launch was at the Zohrab Information Center in New York, on January 23, 2020

Lola’s second book, the trilingual Advice to a poet, with beautiful illustrations by Yelena Bryksenkova, was published in November 2014 in Lima, Peru by AMOTAPE LIBROS. The US edition is available on Amazon.com

Lola’s first poetry collection, The Accidental Observer, is now in its second printing. The book contains Armenian and English poems with their Spanish translations.
It is still on Amazon.com and Lulu.com

Click to go to the GOODREADS REVIEW PAGE

Presentation of a New Book of Poetry by Lola Koundakjian

•January 17, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Lola Koundakjian, poet and curator of the online Armenian Poetry Project, will present her recently published collection of poems, La luna en la cúspide de mi mano/ The Moon in the Cusp of my Hand on Thursday, January 23rd at 7 PM in the Guild Hall of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America at 630 Second Avenue. A Spanish/English bilingual collection published by Nueva York Poetry Press, this is Koundakjian’s third book of poems. Her previous books are The Accidental Observer (2011 USA) and Advice to a Poet (2014 Peru; 2015 USA).

At the event, Lola Koundakjian will read from her newest collection. She will also read some of her original Western Armenian poetry. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase after the reading. A reception will follow.

About Lola – Լօլա Գունտաքճեան

•November 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment
At the Cloisters.
Photo by Farida Soumar.

Lola Koundakjian is an Armenian poet who has lived in New York City since 1979. She is the daughter of Harry L Koundakjian (1930-2014) and Aida Poladian Koundakjian.

In 2019, Lola appeared in two panels at AWP in Portland, Oregon dedicated to the memory of Diana Der-Hovanessian andPermanent Longing: Connecting Across Borders in Writing About Lost Homelands. On April 24 Lola read with four other Armenian authors, at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop which was broadcast live and is available on youtube.com. Her poem Այսօր — originally published in Horizon’s Literary supplement in May 2016 — was chosen by the Poetry Society, UK for a Young Poets Network translation workshop. In October 2019, she is an invitee to read at the FIP in Santiago Chile. Lola’s third collection of poetry, is scheduled to be published by end of year by Nueva York Poetry Press.

In 2018, Lola read in four events in New York City during the course of spring. Lola was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on European Regions: Progress in Literary Culture at the annual MLA convention; the event was postponed due to bad weather. In 2017, she published several poems in various journals. In 2016, she participated in a conference at Oxford University’s Pembroke College dedicated to Western Armenian in the 21st century, sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal. 

Lola’s poetry has appeared in journals and websites such as:  alpialdelapalabra (Argentina), Armenian Poetry Project (New York City), The Literary Groong (University of Southern California), Blood and Thunder (University of Oklahoma College of Medicine), One by Jacar PressBigCityLit,  Crime Poetry Weekly, Poetas Siglo XXI, Mediterranean Poetry, Atelier (Italy), and, UniVerse (Chicago); Anthology Memoria del XX Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellin (Colombia), Fórnix 12 (Lima, Peru) Mizna (Vol 13, 2, USA), Anthology – Multilingual, the Americas Poetry Festival of New York, Artepoética, October 2016 ISBN-13 978-1-940075-46-4Kragan Spiurk – Literary Diaspora, (Armenia), Jamanak (Turkey), Horizon (Canada) Armenian Weekly and Hairenik (Boston, USA) and Pakin (Beirut, Lebanon).

In the U.S., Lola has read her work in venues in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York City. In 2011, she read at the 3rd edition of The Americas Poetry Festival of New York in 2016, the first edition of New York Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island,  and has appeared at Poets House; KGB Bar; Great Weather’s Spoken Word Sundays at the Parkside Lounge  Cornelia Street Café; the New York Public Library; Voices in the City; the Englewood NJ Public Library; the Bowery Poetry Club; the Nuyorican Café; the Shevchenko Scientific Society; the United Nations Correspondents Association; several editions of her neighborhood’s  Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) events including the annual Arts Stroll; Sunday Best, WordUp bookstore, Local Word, Bloom, and, the Above The Bridgereading series. Her collaborations include appearances with the L.A. Zephyrs, GARTAL, and the Greek-American reading series, as well as the Zvartnots String Quartet.

For over 25 years, Lola has organized evenings dedicated to the Dead Armenian Poets’ Society, and since 2006 has produced and edited text and audio, and translated for the multi-lingual Armenian Poetry Project.

Lola’s work was translated into Arabic, Asturian, French, Italian, Spanish and Ukrainian. 

In the past she was an invited poet at five international poetry festivals: the 20th Festival Internacional de Poesía, Medellín, Colombia in July 2010;  in 2013, to the Second Festival Internacional de Poesía, in Lima, Peru; the first Mamilla International Poetry Festival in Ramallah, West Bank, and in 2014, to the 30th international poetry festival at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, and in 2019, the 2nd Festival Internacional de poesía, Santiago, Chile

After her Master’s degree from Columbia University, Lola presented academic papers in several Armenian Studies and Middle East Studies Association conferences. Her papers have been published in conference proceedings in the U.S., Europe and Armenia. 

Lola has received literary grants from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) in 2011 and 2012, and the Mabel Fenner Scholarship, in 2011. She is the recipient of the 2014 Naji Naaman prize – creativity, and a finalist in the Orange Book prize in Armenia. She has taken poetry workshops led by distinguished writers such as Marie Howe (NY State Poet Laureate), Billy Collins (U.S. Poet Laureate), Mark Doty, Patricia Smith, Elaine Equi, and Suzanne Parker.

To contact Lola,  email her at Koundakjian[at]gmail.com

Follow Lola on the internet

Armenian-Poetry.blogspot.com, a resource for poets, teachers and readers since 2006

Lola’s work on the APP

Lola’s personal blog and her upcoming scheduled readings

Subscribe to Lola’s newsletter

Authors about Lola

The poetry reading community owes a huge debt of gratitude to Lola Koundakjian for her years of service to the art, making the work of Armenian poets, writers of Armenian ancestry in many languages, available to readers world-wide with her Armenian Poetry Project. Now, we meet Lola herself in three languages…and it’s about time! — Diana Der-Hovanessian

Lola Koundakjian’s first collection reveals a curious and prescient mind roaming the landscapes of our collective illusions – and disillusionments. Through her spare style and a measured economy of language, she manages to decipher the banality of the everyday on one page, and, on the next, dissect the anatomy of suffering. Insightful and poignant, this is the work of a meticulous observer, and an acutely aware consciousness.— Amir Parsa

These poems of longing and grace are the kind we pass from friend to friend. How wonderful to find them in three languages, each proclaiming their own bright joy.— William Michaelian

These poems tread lightly but so perceptively. In delicate language and in three tongues, the poet takes us on a winding journey, a walk through “the dew intertwined with mist” on the path leading to and from love, to and from a lover who is now there, now absent. This theme is played out sensitively against backdrops of New York, with echos of the Middle East and Armenia sounding sotto voce. A vignette of a garden on West 87th street with a mulberry tree and “crushed ripe mulberries” evokes loss, love and childhood. From this miniature of New York, Koundakjian shows us far places freshly — Firenze and Toscana, afternoon coffee in Spain and an evocation of Morocco. The Armenian and English texts are transpositions of her perceptions into the different cultures, each rewarding in its own modality and in the meaning to be found in the place between them. — Michael E. Stone

“y desapareces/ dejándome recuerdos/ bocados apenas” así inicia Lola Koundakjian su potencia evocadora. Así, dando nombres a los gestos íntimos de un pasado que se le hace pedazos en la memoria. Así, sus poemas, como un libro de viajes, recorren las sensaciones en imágenes que agregan futuro a lo ya sucedido. Olores, sabores y miradas que conforman memoriales cuyo objetivo es transformar el espacio de escritura en espacio conmemorativo. La densidad de Koundakjian reside en ofrecer ternura a la resistencia, en acordar una cita agradecida con sus raíces produciendo su propia perpetuación. El rito de la palabra hace justicia, nombra el destino del poema junto a su lector; su calidad de testigo. — Ana Arzoumanian

Lola Koundakjian continues to open doors with her passion for poetry. These spare but heartfelt pieces have several faces and textures because of the work she has done with their translations. An ambitious project that only a poetry advocate such as Lola can deliver. — Armine Iknadossian

Lola Koundakjian goes after real moments, and she does so quickly, concisely, masterfully–as if she is in panic of losing that rare afternoon light or the playful shadows cast over Central Park by the accidental cumulus clouds. She’s like those rare poet-photographers that must work swiftly if they want to capture the moment just right. — Shahé Mankerian

It is hard to find a better advocate for poetry across culture and time than Lola Koundakjian, and this collection is good hard evidence.— Alan Semerdjian

A trilingual volume of nostalgic reflections on the four seasons, filled with exotic aromas and flavours, drawing from the East and West, from Armenia and New York, from beyond and within, and in search of our common destiny. — Alan Whitehorn

Lola Koundakjian’s articles and publications

•November 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Anthologies

Anthology of the Festival Internacional de Poesía, 2019, Santiago, Chile

Tuesday Night Live: A gathering of Curly’s Poets (2018) 

CAPITALS — a poetry anthology on the capital cities of the world edited by the award-winning poet-diplomat Abhay K (Bloomsbury 2017), ISBN-10: 9386141116

Anthology – Multilingual, the Americas Poetry Festival of New York, Artepoética, October 2016 ISBN-13 978-1-940075-46-4

100 New York Calligraphers by Cynthia M Dantzic, 2015, Schiffer Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-076434898

Poems for The Hazara, 2014, Kabul Press

Naji Naaman’s Literary Prizes, 2014, Beirut, Lebanon

Poems for Mamilla, An Otherworld Press Pamphlet, 2014, ISBN 978-0-9576854-1-3

Fornix, Number 12, 2013, Lima, Peru

The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly, Vol. 1, 2011-2012, Edited by Gerald So. Amazon Kindle Edition. Barnes and Noble Nook edition.

ԳՐԱԿԱՆ ՍՓՅՈՒՐՔ (Kragan Spiurk – Literary Diaspora) Number 1, published 2010 in Armenia. Excerpts can be found here.

Anthology Memoria del XX Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellin, 2010, Colombia

Articles, 1990 –

Armenian International Magazine, California, USA; Science and Technology correspondent

Armenian Weekly, Boston, USA, Arts and Culture articles

Armenian Reporter, USA, interviews with prominent figures in arts and culture

Books and manuscripts in development

The Accidental Observer, 2011, ISBN 978-0-578-06618-9 

Advice to a Poet, trilingual edition. ISBN 978-612-46469-7-3. November 2014, Amotape Libros, Lima, Peru. Finalist, Orange Book Prize, Armenia in 2012. Click here to see an excerpt of the manuscript.

Advice to a Poet, trilingual edition, US edition, ISBN 978-1-312-94683-5, 2015.

A third manuscript is circulating in 2017-8

Digital Story Telling

Hiroshima (2010). Clip available at http://www.lolakoundakjian.com/HIROSHIMA.mov

Three Armenian Artists (2012) – broadcast on Feb 25, 2012, with Armenian introduction on Voices of Armenians TV show

Editorial 

Founding editor, Journal of Armenian Association of Information Professionals (1994-1997)

Editorial Board member, Ararat Literary Quarterly (1995- 2012)

Poetry Editor, Ararat Online (2010 – 2012)

Curator and Producer, Armenian Poetry Project, 2006-Present

Co-editor, Rattapallax, Poems about Armenia, 2012


Grants and awards
2014 Naji Namaan Literary Prizes, Creativity category
2012 NoMAA Grantee, Literary Arts
2011 NoMAA Grantee, Literary Arts
2011 Mabel Fenner Scholarship
Columbia University, Zohrab Fellow

Interviews

Constructive Forces program on Resonance FM, WHFR.org (radio), Azad-Hye, Azk.am, Horizon Weekly (Montreal), Armenian Mirror-Spectator (Boston, USA) and the Armenian Reporter (USA);  Tenor de Brumas interview (Peru); Rattapallax (USA); The Alignist

Memberships

(1990-Current)    Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes   

                            PEN USA, New York

                            Poets House, New York

                            Poets and Writers, USA
                            World Poetry Movement, Medellín, Colombia 

(2010-13)            Board Member, Armenian Center, Columbia University, USA

(2013-2018)        Bloom Reading Series, Hudson VIew Gardens, New York, NY

Poetry
And Then journal (2018)

Whiskey Bar poem in Armenian, Horizon Weekly, Literary Supplement, December 2018

Geometries, in Poems and Illuminations series. March 2018

Colophon poem in Armenian, Յիշատակարան, Հորիզոն Գրական, յունուար 2018

One (Jacar Press) 

Memories, published in Blood and Thunder, 2017, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Atelier Poesia (Switzerland) 2016

Imaginary Correspondence, ԵՐԵՒԱԿԱՅԱԿԱՆ ՆԱՄԱԿԱՆԻ, Armenian Weekly, March 2016

Fog, Մարախուղ, Hairenik, March 2016

Moods, 2 Horatio, Fall 2015

In Search of Rilke at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Naugatuck River Review, Summer 2014, issue 12

A la busca de Rilke en el Museo Metropolitano de Arte, Traducción del inglés de Benjamín Valdivia

Luvina No 79, Verano 2015, la revista literaria de la Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico.

Awakening, Big City Lit, Fall 2013 / Spring 2014

Café Reggio, Enchanted Verse, Calcutta, India, Winter 2013

The Fly, Horizon Weekly, December 2013, Montreal, Canada

A trip to Egypt, Mizna, December 2012

The cadavers off Ocean Parkway, Long Island, Poetic Justice Press, March 2012At Holy Cross, Ararat, Fall 2011

Featured poet, Pakin, September 2009, Beirut, Lebanon.

My New Bookcases will arrive in a week, Armenian Weekly, December 2008

Three Cups of Heaven, Armenian Weekly, October 2007

Recordings (disenbodied voice)

Solemnity.Poets voices in a wall sound sculpture with video projection,  2010. Exhibited at Pratt Institute, New York, part of “A Blind Dates Project” curated by Neery Melkonian and Defne Ayas. 

Translations

Works by 19th-20th century Armenian poets, including Zahrad and Irma Adjemian, have been translated for the Armenian Poetry Project, and have consequently appeared in Dora Sakayan’s Western Armenian for the English-speaking world, Yerevan State University Press, 2012

Volunteer work

Bloom reading series, ad-hoc board member, Washington Heights, NY 2013-2018

Websites

alpialdelapalabra Argentina

Armenian Poetry Project, New York City

Literary GROONG University of Southern California

Mediterranean poetry, 2010 Sweden 

UniVerse, Chicago

Articles and academic conference publications
In Search of a Standard Armenian Keyboard, Armenian International Magazine, March 1991. Reprinted in Newsletter No 15 of the Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes, the Netherlands, October 1991.

Giving the Gift of Life: Bone Marrow Transplants among Armenians, Armenian International Magazine, July, 1991

Computers in Armenian Studies: Information Retrieval, Storage and Archiving.  Armenian perspectives: 10th Anniversary Conference of the Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes, edited by Nicholas Awde, 1993

CD-ROM TECHNOLOGY: Possible Applications in Armenian Philology. Computers in Armenian Philology, Yerevan, Armenia, 1993


Armenians in Cyberspace: CD-ROMS vs. On-Line.
The Society for Armenian Studies, 1995 (JSAS Volume 6)

Preserving the Written Word: Computer Aided Archiving. VIIth General Assembly of the Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, September 1996

CD-ROM technology in Armenian Philology,Journal of the Society of Armenian Studies, Volume 9, 1999

Ceramics and Watercolors (updated Fall 2019)

•November 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

A former visual artist, Lola continues to participate in group shows.

GROUP EXHIBITS

2019 October – December,  Cleary Gottlieb law firm, group show.

2016 Fall, at CUNY, part of the Tribute to the Disappeared series

2008 Summer; two ceramics pieces in a group show at Lincoln Plaza, New York

2007 Fall; two watercolors in a group show at the Village Quill, TriBeCa, New York

2007 Fall; four ceramic pieces in a group show,Gallery Z, Providence, RI

2006 Tokyo NY Sister City Exhibit, Special 10th anniversary show, Nippon Gallery, New York

2004 Tokyo NY Sister City Exhibit, Nippon Gallery, New York

2004 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

2003 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

2002 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

2001 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

2000 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

1998 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

1997 Tokyo NY Sister City Exhibit, Nippon Gallery, New York

1997 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

1996 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

1996 Tokyo NY Sister City Exhibit, Nippon Gallery, New York

1995 Artist Ball at the Puck Building, SoHo, New York

1993 Group show at Armenian Diocese, New York

Student groups shows at Hunter College, CUNY

CERAMICS portfolios

2008 Ceramic Portfolio

2007 Ceramic Portfolio

2006 Ceramic Portfolio

2005 Ceramic Portfolio

2004 Ceramic Portfolio

The 2002-3 Ceramic Portfolio

AIWA artists (search under Pottery)


The Last Book Project (2009)

•November 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

In 2008, Lola Koundakjian was invited to contribute to the “The Last Book” project. Her poem Sunday Morning  and an accompanying picture were included by the project’s curator, conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer. The exhibit has circulated in Buenos Aires (2009), Zentral Bibliothek of Zurich (2010) and at the Aguilar Branch of the New York Public Library from February 2 until May 29, 2011.

The video of the project may be viewed here.

“El último libro”, proyecto de Luis Camnitzer, fue inaugurado el 31 de Octubre pasado en la sala de acceso de la Biblioteca Nacional Argentina en Buenos Aires. La instalación está abierta al público hasta marzo de 2009.

Author’s photos

•November 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment
BRIC, Brooklyn, NY, April 2018
Bloom Reading Series, New York, NY, April 2017
Poets House, New York, NY, CAPITAL book launch
Americas Poetry Festival, 2016
Voces de la ciudad, Chelsea, New York, 2016
After the closing ceremony at Maison De la culture— at Maison de la culture de Trois-Rivières. Fall, 2014
Reading at Le Manor, with Brian Johnstone (Scotland), Jean Portante (Luxemburg) and Claudio Pozzani, Italy. FIP-Trois-Rivières, Quebec 2014
At the Mahmoud Darwish Foundation, Ramallah, Palestine, 2013
FIP Lima, Cesar Vallejo University, Lima, Peru, 2013
Shevchenko Scientific Society, New York, NY, December 2012
Sunday Best Series 2012, Photo by Bonnie Walker
WordUp Bookstore, July 2011, Photo by Paul Lomax
NOMAA Literary Grantees after the reading at Sunday Best Series with (L to R) Patrizia Eakins (series curato), Christine Toy Johnson, Sandra Garcia Betancourt (NoMAA director), Will MacAdams, Lola Koundakjian and Diana Caba (NoMAA Program Director)
Reading at Gallery Z, Providence, RI, 2010
Signing books after the reading at Gallery Z
Remembering the Indus Fundraiser, New York, NY, 2010
Remembering the Indus Fundraiser, New York, NY, 2010
With Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, FIP Medellín, Colombia 2010
FIP Medellin 2010, with Udo Kawasser (Austria) on the right.
Medellin 2010
Bowery Poetry Club, April 2010
Photo by Narine Karamyan, Bowery Poetry Club, April 2010
Cornelia Street Café, Gartal Series, March 2009
Cornelia Street Café, March 2008
Tribeca, 2007

Lola Koundakjian’s recordings (updated November 2019)

•November 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Live Recordings and Interviews

World Poetry Movement, World Without Walls reading Feb 15 2019 in New York

Resonance FM Radio’s Constructive Forces show, April 11, 2018

The Power of Women in Armenian Art, with Zulal a capella group, at the BRIC, Brooklyn, NY, April 10, 2018

Tribute to poet Zareh Khrakouni (video clip from newscast)- December 2016

Civilnet TV interview – February 2015

ԿԵԱՆՔ/LIFE – Live recording of the poem, followed by Kevork Andonian’s Lament, performed by the Zvartnots String Quartet. New York City, June 2013. Recorded by Sig Rosen.

Text and video of the poem OFF OCEAN PARKWAY, LONG ISLAND, published by Poems on Crime, may be accessed here. Originally published in 2012, the poem was featured in 5-22‘s website during poetry month in 2016.

Live recording of the Sunday Best Reading Series, March 4, 2012. The recording may be accessed on the WHFR website here.

Live recording of the Above the Bridge reading series, at the Ceres Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan. September 2011. 

Sunday Best Reading Series, March 6, 2011. Will MacAdams, Christine Toy Johnson and Lola Koundakjian (click to hear a portion of the one hour broadcast)

Washington Heights Free Radio interview, airtime February 2011.

Above the Bridge series, recorded live, February 2011. Reading “She sent it with love”.

Above the Bridge series, recorded live, February 2011. Reading “Speaking in the Past”.

Manhattan Times interview, June 2010, after the Annual Uptown Arts Stroll event “Writing Across our Cultures”.

Bowery Poetry Club, April 2010: “Les poètes

Video clip from the XX Festival Internacional de Poesía in Medellín, Colombia, Summer 2010.

A must-read book nomination

•August 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Northern Lauren selection for “A Must Read book from every country”

Lauren, a British blogger based in Mexico, posted this on August 6, 2018, part of An Overambitious Global Reading List.

Northern Lauren_Personal