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Books & Books and Miami Book Fair Present ‘An Evening with Peter Balakian’

Author Peter Balakian and Book Cover of “No Sign”

MIAMI, FL – Miami retailer Books & Books and the Miami Book Fair will present ‘An Evening with Peter Balakian’ discussing his latest book “No Sign” (University of Chicago Press, $20) on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 7:30 PM ET at Books and Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134.

About the Book:

“No Sign” is a new poetry collection from Peter Balakian, author of “Ozone Journal,” and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

In these poems, Peter Balakian wrestles with national and global cultural and political realities, including challenges for the human species amid planetary transmutation and the impact of mass violence on the self and culture. At the collection’s heart is “No Sign,” another in Balakian’s series of long-form poems, following “A-Train/Ziggurat/Elegy” and “Ozone Journal,” which appeared in his previous two collections. In this dialogical multi-sectioned poem, an estranged couple encounters each other, after years, on the cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades. The dialogue that ensues reveals the evolution of a kaleidoscopic memory spanning decades, reflecting on the geological history of Earth and the climate crisis, the film Hiroshima Mon Amour, the Vietnam War, a visionary encounter with the George Washington Bridge, and the enduring power of love.

Whether meditating on the sensuality of fruits and vegetables, the COVID-19 pandemic, the trauma and memory of the Armenian Genocide, James Baldwin in France, or Arshile Gorky in New York City, Balakian’s layered, elliptical language, wired phrases, and shifting tempos engage both life’s harshness and beauty and define his inventive and distinctive style.

About the Author:

PETER BALAKIAN is the author of eight books of poems including “Ozone Journal,” which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and “Ziggurat,” both published by the University of Chicago Press. His memoir “Black Dog of Fate” won the PEN/Albrand Award and was a New York Times notable book, and “The Burning Tigris” won the Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times bestseller and New York Times notable book. He is Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English at Colgate University.

Armenian National Institute Posts Database on Media Coverage of President Biden’s Recognition of the Armenian Genocide and its Implications

WASHINGTON, DC – As important as the 2021 international media coverage of President Biden’s remarkable acknowledgement of the WWI-era Armenian Genocide was, the lessons of this history were not sufficiently appreciated when Azerbaijan and Turkey launched a campaign in 2020 to eliminate Nagorno-Karabakh by eradicating its Armenian inhabitants. That attempted genocide has been documented by the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights (PBHR) at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR).

In advance of April 24, 2021, media sources began forecasting that the White House was likely to make an announcement, while newspaper editorials, once again, called on the President “to use honest and accurate terminology in describing the Ottoman Empire’s killing of more than 1 million Armenians a century ago,” as the April 5 Los Angeles Times editorial appealed.

The reporting by major media organizations following the official announcement by the White House relied extensively on information provided by the Armenian National Institute (ANI) through its website, especially the documentation on the list of countries recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Further, several reports linked directly to the ANI site, including Time magazine, The Washington Post, POLITICO, Le Monde (French newspaper), L’agone Nuovo (Italian newspaper), La Razon (Spanish newspaper), Times of Israel, The Indian Express, and NBC News, among others.

Such significant coverage by international media of the Biden Administration’s acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide and its implications across a range of issues, including the Turkish government’s continued denials, the reassertion of human rights concerns in U.S. foreign policy, and the appreciation of the Armenian American community and Armenians around the world, is now reflected in the growing database of press stories available on the ANI website.

A selection of 360 major media articles can be found in the database, which is also organized into a number of categories to facilitate research into distinct aspects of the public understanding of the Armenian Genocide, and the long road to its recognition by 31 countries to date. The categories include: Book Review, Editorial, Education, Feature Story, Film Review, Memorials, Opinion, Recognition, Remembrance, Reporting, and Restitution. News from ANI can also be accessed through the database, which can be searched by author or source of publication.

Aware of the pace of coverage that was manifested by the change in U.S. policy, ANI also launched a Twitter profile to facilitate the sharing of information on current developments in the course of universal affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, and for advising audiences about notable publications by researchers uncovering new sources and exploring new theories on the causes and consequences of the Armenian Genocide. While the Press Coverage database provides access to important journalistic contributions, the Twitter account allows interested followers to access current reporting and trends in the international response to issues surrounding the subject – or the threat – of genocide, in the hope of keeping audiences alert to potential outbreaks.

Representatives of the media were also directly in contact with ANI with inquiries on the importance of the policy change adopted by the Biden Administration. On April 24, following the release of the White House statement, ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian gave several interviews to national and international news services.

Dr. Adalian also appeared in a recently released documentary. Specifically, “The American Good Samaritans” tells the story of several important American humanitarians only some of whom have received the recognition that they deserve for rescuing survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The film was produced by Manvel Saribekyan, who released “The Map of Salvation” in 2015 that focused on European humanitarians. “The American Good Samaritans” features interviews with a number of scholars from the United States, Armenia, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, and Iran, among them Dr. Levon Avdoyan of the Library of Congress, Dr. Antranik Dakessian of Haigazian University in Lebanon, Dr. Konstantinos Fotiadis of Greece, Dr. Sargon Donabed, an Assyrian-American specialist, Dominica Macios, a researcher from Poland, Karen Mkrdchyan, researcher from Iran, Dr. Paul Levine, attorney Garo Mardirossian, and Shant Mardirossian of the Near East Foundation – the successor organization to Near East Relief – the main U.S.-based charity that sponsored hundreds of volunteers to aid Armenian survivors of genocide.

For more information on ANI, please see their previous announcement, “Armenian National Institute Website Now Includes 795 Official Records Affirming Armenian Genocide.”

Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. The ANI website can be consulted in English, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic. ANI also maintains the online Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA).

Armenian National Institute Website Now Includes 795 Official Records Affirming the Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Institute (ANI) has completed a massive expansion of its widely-consulted website containing extensive information on the Armenian Genocide. The 2019 resolutions adopted by the U.S. House and Senate expressly “encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the United States role in the humanitarian relief effort, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.’ President Joe Biden’s April 24, 2021, remembrance day statement called for a “world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security.”

The Affirmation section of the ANI website, that contains a collection of official documents pertaining to the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, was thoroughly updated. The Affirmation records are now organized in 14 distinct categories covering resolutions, laws, and declarations by federal level governments, U.S. presidential statements, statements by heads of states, international organizations, religious organizations, official reports, public petitions, and other relevant documents.

Eighty-six new records were added to the Affirmation page, especially updating the sections on ‘Resolutions, Laws, and Declarations,’ ‘State and Provincial Governments,’ and ‘Municipal Governments.’

With strong community support promoting instruction in human rights and genocide prevention, state educational curricula are now mandated in some 10 states across the United States, including Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, Rhode Island, Illinois, California, New York, and New Jersey. The relevant pieces of legislation are all accessible under ‘Curriculum Mandates.’

As for the 31 countries that formally acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, they include: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Vatican City, Venezuela, United States, and Uruguay.

In all, the ANI website presently holds 795 affirmation records from around the world.

The ANI collection of affirmation records was developed with the collaborative support of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI) in Yerevan. A new cooperation agreement reached between AGMI and ANI allowed for extensive research in the AGMI holdings in order to reverify and update the records posted on the ANI website. The agreement was signed in Yerevan by AGMI Director Dr. Harutyun Marutyan and ANI Chairman Van Z. Krikorian on August 5, 2021. AGMI in Armenia and ANI in the United States have become two important depositories of official affirmation records, AGMI holding an international collection, and ANI holding a considerable American collection of original documents.

Robert Arzoumanian, who joined ANI as assistant to the director, conducted the research at AGMI where additional records were identified that have been mounted on the ANI website for easy access by the public. Arzoumanian, a Brown University graduate, interned at ANI and in Congressman Frank Pallone’s office in 2016 and returned the following year as the Armenian Assembly’s summer intern program coordinator. He also has experience working with Armenia-based media. Arzoumanian undertook the challenge of standardizing the presentation of the full scope of international records identified by ANI in order to facilitate their usage by an international audience.

Since its founding in 1997, the Armenian National Institute has been working closely with AGMI, and over the years has supported several conferences and joint projects. Continuing this long-standing cooperation with AGMI, ANI sent a video message on April 16, 2021, welcoming the release by the museum of the volumes prepared by Ara Ketibian and Father Vahan Ohanian titled, “Armenian Genocide: Prelude and Aftermath as Reported in the U.S. Press, The Washington Post (1890-1922),” to which ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian contributed an introduction.

Earlier in 2021, AGMI also released the fourth edition of Dr. Adalian’s essay, “Remembering and Understanding the Armenian Genocide,” which AGMI originally issued in 1995.

In 2021, ANI also continued to expand its online presence by launching the Arabic version of the popular ANI website. The announcement was issued in Arabic as well. Soon after its launch on April 17, the site was being consulted in countries ranging from Lebanon to United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Qatar, Oman and Morocco.

The Arabic-language site represents the third translated edition of the ANI website. The Spanish-language edition appeared in 2020 and the Turkish version in 2017. In light of U.S. President Biden’s affirmation and general media coverage, interest remains high on the subject of the Armenian Genocide. Following the disruptions associated with the shutdown precipitated by the pandemic, with the reopening of educational institutions, a large number of visitors are returning to the ANI website, which registered 4 million hits in 2021.

The process of international recognition remains an ongoing concern for Armenian communities around the world. Efforts are presently under way in England, Israel, and Australia. In 2021, Latvia formally adopted recognition on May 6. Dr. Adalian, along with Dr. Ronald Suny and Armenia’s Ambassador to the Baltic states Tigran Mktchyan, was invited on April 20, to testify in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Parliament that was considering the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. The ANI website can be consulted in English, Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic. ANI also maintains the online Armenian Genocide Museum of America (AGMA).