David Kherdian is proud to announce his first full-length book of poems in years, A New Day.
I had earlier stopped writing poetry but when we fled the country after the 2017 election, I began writing poetry again: but on a higher plane than before. How this could come about in my 80s is a mystery, although I have always been a slow-growing plant all my life, so these late-blooming flowers, are not really that big a surprise, to have achieved my apotheosis at age 90, with the publication of this book, that comprises some of the very best poems written in this period, fills me with gratitude for the powers underlining this life, that we have so little understanding of. I never had a following and I doubt my new work will change this, and for very good reasons, because the worse mistake an artist can make is to go it alone, and I have always known this, although not as completely as now. It is also true that the greatest ones, in my estimation, have been loners throughout their lives, who were not failures, either in art in ordinary living, and nothing deterred them from fulfilling their fates: Blake, Thoreau, Walt Whitman, who were my most important models, who helped to confirm me in my art and in my life as a man, apart and free and alone in this world.
David Kherdian was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the site of his 13-volume Root River Cycle. In addition to his poetry, biographies, novels, and memoirs, his translations and retellings have included the Asian classic Monkey: A Journey to the West, and the soon-to-be-released 9th-century Armenian bardic epic, David of Sassoun. He has also written a narrative life of The Buddha. As an editor, he has produced two seminal anthologies: Settling America: The Ethnic Expression of 14 Contemporary American Poets, and Down at the Santa Fe Depot: 20 Fresno Poets, which inspired over 100 city and state anthologies. His biography of his mother, The Road From Home, his best-known work, has been continuously in print in various editions and 17 translations since its publication in 1979. An hour-long documentary on his poetry, by New York independent filmmaker, Jim Belleau, was released in 1997. He is married to two-time Caldecott Award winner, Nonny Hogrogian, with whom he has collaborated on a number of children’s books, and also on three journals, Ararat, Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic-American Literature, and Stopinder: A Gurdjieff Journal for Our Time.