ARLINGTON, Mass. – Sargis Gavlakian’s book Moruk-Tzuki hekiatnere: hekiatner bolori hamar [Tales of Beardo: Tales for All] was celebrated on June 15 in a program presented by the Tekeyan Cultural Association [TCA] Greater Boston Chapter and cosponsored by the Armenian Cultural Foundation at the latter’s Arlington building. It was an emotional evening, as the publication of this book represents the triumph of Gavlakian’s will, and the creative will in general, over prolonged adversity, with the ongoing support of Gavlakian’s family and friends.
Aram Arkun, TCA Executive Director, served as master of ceremonies and presented the biographies of the author as well as keynote speaker Avik Derentz Deirmenjian.
Author Gavlakian, born in Yerevan in 1962, graduated High School No. 139 and received his higher education at the Valery Bryusov Pedagogical Institute for Foreign Languages. He worked in Nerkin Sasnashen village in the region of Talin as an English teacher in high school from 1986 to 1989, but in 1990 moved to the United States with his family. He taught Armenian in Boston at the Armenian General Benevolent Union school, and published two books of his poems, Karkarot erkri aghotknere [The Prayers of a Rocky Land] (1991) and Inch sarn es lusin [How Cold You Are, Moon] (1993).
In 1996 he moved to Fresno, California, where he published through his own means the monthly Yergink from 1997 to 1998, and initiated a radio program called “Arpy,” while working from 2001 to 2007 in the state welfare department in Fresno. In 2004, he completed a master’s degree at Fresno National University in public administration. He moved back to Boston in 2010. He was a member of the TCA executive in Boston in the 1990s and is again an active member in the reorganized Boston chapter today.
Arkun praised his devotion to Armenian literature and his perseverance in the face of all types of obstacles over many years to continue to write and promote his literary vision. He did what he had to in order to support his family, but never gave up on literature.
Derentz, the owner of Deirmenjian Real Estate LLC, lives in Bedford, Mass. and is a well known figure in the Armenian community. He is a prolific author, having published 15 collections of poetry. His works have been translated into English, Russian and Georgian. He has been published in many periodicals, including Grakan tert of Armenia, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, the Armenian Weekly, and many periodicals in the Near East. He has prepared CDs which contain recitations by Nvard Mnatsakanyan and Nune Avetisyan, and a CD with songs. Derentz is a member of the Writers Union of Armenia, the Journalists Union of Armenia, Boston’s Armenian Independent Radio Hour board and the Writers Union of California. He has received a medal for faithful participation from the Journalists Union of Armenia and an honorary certificate from the Pan-Armenian Convention of Journalists for aiding in the preservation of Armenian identity in the Diaspora and the development of Armenia-diaspora relations.