Over 40 years
at the cutting edge
of poetry publishing
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Razmik Davoyan (Armenia)

Razmik Davoyan was born in 1940 in Mets Parni, Spitak, Armenia. At the age of nine he moved to Leninakan with his family where he graduated from the local Medical College in 1958. In 1959 he moved to Yerevan to study Philology and History at the State Pedagogic University and graduated in 1964. During his student years he worked as proof-reader for the Literary Weekly and as a member of the founding editorial board of the monthly Science and Technology, editing the Life Sciences and Medical sections. From 1965 to 1970 he was editor of the poetry and prose section of the Literary Weekly.

From 1970 to 1975 he worked as senior adviser at the Committee for Cultural Relations with the Diaspora. From 1975 to 1990 he worked as Secretary of the Central Committee for Armenia's State Prizes. In 1989 he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for the Earthquake Struck Disaster Area. In 1994 he became the first elected president of the Writers' Union of Armenia. From 1999 to 2003 he served as Adviser (on cultural and educational issues) to the President of the Republic of Armenia. From 2004 to date he has been Adviser to the Director of the Armenian Public TV. His first poem was published in 1957 in the Leninakan Daily Worker. Since then he has published well over thirty volumes in Armenian as well as in Russian, Czech and English translation. His works were widely translated all over the former Soviet Union and published in innumerable literary magazines and journals. Selections of poems have also been translated and published in literary periodicals in Italy, France, Syria, former Yugoslavia, Iran, China and the USA. His children's poetry book Winter Snowflake, Spring Blossom, published in Russian translation in 1980, sold four hundred and fifty thousand copies in only two weeks all over the former Soviet Union.

In 1971, Davoyan received Armenia's Youth Organization Central Committee Prize for Literature and, in 1986, Armenia's State Prize for Literature. In 1997 he received the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots from the President of Armenia for his achievements and services to the country. In 2003 he was awarded the President's Prize for Literature for his children's book Little Bird at the Exhibition. Three of his significant books were blocked from publication by the Soviet régime: Requiem was blocked for five years before it was published in Yerevan in 1969; Massacre of the Crosses was blocked and was first published in Beirut in 1972; and Toros Rosslin was first published in New York in 1984 because of the block on its publication in Soviet Armenia.

Razmik Davoyan lives in Yerevan, Armenia.

Watch Davoyan read from Whisper and Breath of Meadows at the book's launch in Armenia's Cafesjian Center for the Arts.

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