Leo Hamalian Tribute Program of Music and Speakers Thursday May 20 N


55 E. 59th Street
New York, New York
CONTACT: [email protected]
May 18, 2004


The Editorial Board of ARARAT invites the public to be present at
a special evening of appreciation and remembrance of Leo Hamalian,
its editor for over three decades. The gathering will take place on
Thursday, May 20, in the Ceremonial Hall of the New York Society for
Ethical Culture (Two West 64th Street, NYC), and will feature prominent
friends and colleagues of Leo Hamalian. Led by masters of ceremony
Peter Sourian and Nishan Parlakian, respectively a noted writer and
a dramatist, the evening’s program will include Armenian-American
writers Peter Balakian, Lynne Kassabian, and Harry Keyishian, as
well as City College professors emeriti Valerie Krishna and James
Hatch. Pianist and composer Sahan Arzruni will perform. There will
be a reception following the short program.

Leo Hamalian was a distinguished and prolific writer, educator, and
editor. He had a great impact on Armenian-American literature not
only through his own work as an essayist, critic, and anthologist,
but also through his ability to recruit new writers and assist in
their literary development. For Armenians, the literary and cultural
quarterly ARARAT published by the AGBU was perhaps the most important
forum through which Leo Hamalian worked his magic. Hamalian also
helped recognize and promote new Armenian-American writers through his
fourteen-year chairmanship of the Anahid Literary Award Committee of
the Armenian Center at Columbia University. Leo Hamalian served on the
boards of a number of other important journals, including The Literary
Review, Columbia, and Humerus, and as the editor of the American Book
Review. He worked at Harper’s Magazine (1958-64), and was coeditor of
Artists and Influence, the bi-annual publication of the Hatch-Billops
Archive for African-American Art. Dr. Hamalian published a number
of studies and edited numerous volumes and textbooks in many other
fields, ranging from existentialist literature to feminism and even
science fiction. He was a beloved professor of literature who taught
at universities as far away as Damascus and Tehran, but made his home
for many years at the City College in New York.

AGBU and the ARARAT Board are working to honor his memory in a
number of long-term ways. The AGBU-ARARAT Leo Hamalian Memorial
Fund has been established to support the literary work of ARARAT,
to which he was so dedicated, and donations to this fund are still
being accepted. Articles and other submissions are being accepted
until mid-July for a special ARARAT issue dedicated to Leo.

Meanwhile, please join us on May 20 at 7:30 p.m. Though the event
is without charge, reservations are required. To make reservations,
or for further information, contact Hripsime Arissian at the AGBU at
<[email protected]> or (212) 319-6383 ext. 131.