Babaian and four other poets featured in the anthology will be reading
some of their works and signing the book at the Glendale Public Library
Babaian wants his words to help others gain a greater understanding of
the Armenian culture and what is like to grow up as an immigrant.
"What's important to me is to be able to relate my experience as a
person growing up in the U.S. but also having this other cultural
background that has been very strong in my life," he said.
Tina Demirdjian, 36, another Glendale resident whose poems appear in
the anthology, said she hopes the book will give people "a good window
into the dash," or hyphenated cultures, such as Armenian-American.
Babaian said learning about other cultures is important.
"On the one hand, we learn we're very different. On the other hand, we
learn we're very much the same," he said. "It makes us more
The anthology was published by Open Letter, a nonprofit Glendale
organization that produces a biannual arts journal by the same name.
Elizabeth Grigorian of Open Letter said the anthology was born of the
"Literary Corner" events -- a forum for local Armenian-American writers
-- the organization began hosting at the Glendale library in 1995.
"It's not only for Armenians," she said. "The issues they're touching
are the same that everyone touches."
IF YOU GO
* WHAT: Poetry reading and book signing of "Birthmark: A Bilingual
Anthology of Armenian-American Poetry."
* WHEN: From 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
* WHERE: Glendale Public Library, at 222 E. Harvard St.
* INFO: Five of the seven poets published in the anthology will be on
hand to read their works.
* COST: Free
* CALL: For more information, call 546-2821.