Author Yalcin, Poet Djanikian to Speak at Fresno State

FRESNO–Author Kemal Yalcin will discuss his new book of poetry and poet Gregory Djanikian will read from his latest book of poetry during two separate events at Fresno State University this month.
Yalcin will discuss his new book of poetry "You Rejoice My Heart," at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. The lecture, part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2008 Lecture Series, will be held in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus.
The lecture is co-sponsored with the Tekeyan Cultural Association and Armenian Students Organization at Fresno State.
Kemal Yalcin had to discover the truth about the Armenia’s for his book entitled You Rejoice My Heart. He writes in the introduction of his book: "I returned to Turkey in the summer of 1998. In order to plan my book, I had decided to travel to Amasya to interview the eyewitness survivors of 1915, the victims of the 1942 "wealth law" to punish Greeks, Armenia’s and Jews, and the survivors of Ashkale labor camps designed for the same minorities and to visit Ani and Aghtamar. All my relatives, except for my mother, discouraged me. The Armenian issue does not look like the Greek issue. You will be in trouble, they warned me." Heeding his mother’s advice Mr. Yalcin takes the proposed trip and completes the book, which is published by the Dogan Publishing House, which had released his previous novel.
One of the most compelling statemen’s in the book is the following passage in the introduction: "I bow to the memory of Armenia’s and Assyrians who lost their lives on the road of deportation through planned killings. That is the greatest pain of our century, the stigma on the face of humanity. Your pain is my pain. As a Turkish writer I beg forgiveness from you and from mankind."
Accompanying Yalcin will be Ara Sarafian of London, England, whose Gomidas Books published the English translation of You Rejoice My Heart.
Yalcin was born in the Honaz sub-district of Turkey’s Denizli Province in 1952. In 1973 he graduated from the Capa Advanced Teachers’ College in Istanbul and the Philosophy Department of Istanbul University’s Faculty of Literature. After that, he taught philosophy at the Kaman Lycee in Kirsehir and the Kabatas Lycee in Istanbul. He worked in journalism and publishing in the years 1978-1980 and in 1981 he came to Germany, where, since 1989, he has worked as a Turkish instructor in Bochum.
Copies of the new book will be available for purchase after the talk.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Relaxed parking is available in Lot J, after 7 p.m.
For more on the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 559-278-2669.
Poet Gregory Djanikian will read from his latest book of poetry, So I Will Till the Ground, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12. The lecture, part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2008 Lecture Series, will be held in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus.
The lecture is co-sponsored with the Armenian Students Organization at Fresno State.
Djanikians’ fifth published collection, So I Will till the Ground, published by Carnegie Mellon Press, deals with aspects of Armenian history and family life, the Genocide, the ensuing Diaspora, and the emigration of the author and his family from Egypt to the United States.
Gregory Djanikian directs the creative writing department in the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His poetry has appeared in leading American publications including The American Poetry Review, and The American Scholar among others.
Djanikian was the featured speaker on PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, during which he read from his collection of Armenian-themed poems.
Copies of the new book will be available for purchase after the talk.
The lecture is fee and open to the public. Relaxed parking is available in Lot J, after 7 p.m.
For more on the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 559-278-2669.

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