- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
July 2, 2004

Writers’ Bloc: Literary Conference draws authors from Armenia and Diaspora

More than 60 authors from 18 countries gathered in Yerevan this week for the second All-Armenian Conference of Writers.

Organised by Armenia’s Union of Writers, the conference brought together figures from the Republic and Diaspora to discuss developments in Armenian literature. Levon Ananyan, President of the Union, says the first conference in 2002 was more introductory in character since Armenian writers in different countries had had little previous opportunity to make personal contact.

Writers exchange words about words

This time, many young representatives of literature from the Diaspora attended the event. Plenary sessions covered subjects including: “Latest achievements of Armenian literature”, “The national school and national literature”; and “Historical memory and modern literature”.

The conference also marked two important occasions, the 70th anniversary of the Writers Union and the 80th anniversary of the birth of the Diaspora writer Zahrat from Constantinople. Participants traveled to Artsakh for two days for meetings with representatives of the intelligentsia and army.

They will also take part in an event dedicated to 150th anniversary of the great Armenian writer Muratsan. Political discussion was not on the agenda, however, even though many of today’s Diaspora writers are public and party figures.

The first conference agreed three measures towards greater unity of literary organizations of the Diaspora. A constituent conference of the Armenian Writers of California was organized in Los Angeles, USA. Then a conference bringing together writers from the Middle East was held in Beirut, Lebanon. Finally, a delegation from the Writers’ Union led by Ananyan and Ruben Hovsepyan, a National Assembly deputy, organized a recent conference of Armenian writers from Iran.

Ananyan says that, besides literary bridges, the conference also established an All-Armenian Literary Fund to provide support for publishing books and developing Armenian literature. A telethon organized in Armenia has collected about $200,000 and further collections are being arranged in Atsakh and Diaspora communities.

The third All-Armenian Conference of Writers is already being planned. It will likely be held in two years’ time in one of the Diaspora Communities.

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Bearing Fruit

A priest blesses a bowl of Armenian apricots prior to the opening of the Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan on June 30. The fruit was handed out to guests at the opening ceremony at the city's Moscow Cinema.



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