Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

LITERARY LIGHTS: The Book of Redacted Paintings ~ Saturday, June 17, 2023 ~ On Zoom

Arthur Kayzakian International Armenian Literary Alliance Kaveh Akbar Literary Lights NAASR Poetry Radius of Arab American Writers Zohrab Information Center

Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 1:00pm Eastern / 10:00 am Pacific
Live on Zoom. Registration is required and free.


In Arthur Kayzakian's The Book of Redacted Paintings, the narrative arc follows a boy in search of his father’s painting, but it is unclear whether the painting exists or not. The book, a poetry collection, is also populated by a series of paintings. Some are real, incomplete, and/or missing, while most are redacted from reality. The withdrawn paintings concept is the emotional arc of the book, a combination of wishing one could paint the pieces he/she/they envision and the feeling of something torn out of a person due to a traumatic upbringing. A sort of erasure ekphrasis, to foresee artwork that was never painted.

Arthur Kayzakian is the recipient of the 2022 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the winner of the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition for, My Burning City. He serves as the Poetry Chair for IALA. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from several publications including Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, Portland Review, Chicago Review, Nat. Brut, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness Magazine, and Prairie Schooner.

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Pilgrim Bell (Graywolf Press, 2021) and Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017), and editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse (Penguin 2022). Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at University of Iowa and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson, and serves as poetry editor for The Nation.

Established in 1993, the Radius of Arab American Writers is a national non-profit organization that provides mentoring, community, and support for writers and artists with roots in the Arabic speaking world and the broader Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Literary Lights is a monthly reading series organized by the IALA, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center. The series—to be resumed in September 2023—features new works of literature by Armenian authors. Audience members are invited to read along with the series.

International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA)
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI)
Zohrab Information Center

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