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Creative Resistance: A Literary Reading in Paintings, Poetry, Collage, and Fiction

July 23, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

On Sunday July 23 at 4 p.m., The Midway Gallery presents poet Arthur Kayzakian and novelist Nancy Agabian as they read from their new books that demonstrate creativity as a form of personal transformation and political resistance. A conversation and book signing will follow with books by both authors available for sale. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. The Midway Gallery is located within the Midway Artists Studio Building in the Boston Seaport, 15 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210. Street parking is free on Sundays.

In 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 The withdrawn paintings concept is the emotional arc of the book, a combination of wishing one could paint the pieces he/she/they envision and the feeling of something torn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 winner of the 2021 Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series award for his collection, The Book of Redacted Paintings, which was also selected as a finalist for the 2021 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. He is also the winner of the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition for his chapbook, My Burning City. He has been a finalist for the Locked Horn Press Chapbook Prize, Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize, the C.D. Wright Prize, and the Black River Chapbook Competition. He is a contributing editor at Poetry International and a recipient of the Minas Savvas Fellowship. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from several publications, including Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, COUNTERCLOCK, Chicago Review, Nat. Brut, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness Magazine, and Prairie Schooner.

In Agabian’s The Fear of Large and Small Nations, feminist writer and teacher Natalee—aka Na—seeks to reclaim her cultural roots in Armenia only to be confronted with the many contradictions of being a diasporan. When she falls for a charismatic younger man and returns with him to New York City, Na becomes trapped in an abusive web of codependency, bound by intergenerational trauma and political ideals. Written in short stories collaged with intimate journal entries and blog posts, the fragmented narrative reveals what is lost in the tightrope passage between cultures ravaged by violence and colonialism—and what is gained when Na seizes control of her storypulsating in its many shades and realities, daring to be witnessed.

Nancy Agabian’s previous books include Me as her again: True Stories of an Armenian Daughter (aunt lute books), a memoir honored as a Lambda Literary Award finalist for LGBT Nonfiction and shortlisted for a William Saroyan International Writing Prize, and Princess Freak (Beyond Baroque Books), a collection of poetry and performance art texts. In 2021 she was awarded Lambda Literary Foundation’s Jeanne Cόrdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. The Fear of Large and Small Nations, a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, is her first novel.

For more information, please visit the Midway Gallery website:

Hosted by: s t u d i o  t i n a  c h a k a r i a n


July 23, 2023
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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