Presentation of Jacques Hagopian’s Two Latest Books Held at the Prelacy

In late 2015 the Western Prelacy published two new books by renowned poet and educator Jacques Hagopian, “There is no Escape” and “Golden Waterfall,” the presentation of which was held on Thursday, March 17, 2016, at the “Dikran & Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall under the auspices of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate and organized by the Prelacy Cultural-Educational Committee.

The program began with the Lord’s Prayer, followed by welcoming remarks by Committee member Rev. Fr. Ghevont Kirazian, who cited from the 2012 Year of the Book proclamation of His Holiness Aram I, highlighting the importance of Armenian books as the bastion of Armenian spiritual and cultural values.

Mrs. Garine Der Kevorkian served as Master of Ceremonies. Through a series of excerpts from the author’s writings, she paid tribute to Jacques Hagopian’s life and vast portfolio of works. The event included a cultural program of Armenian music, including performances by soprano Anahit Nercisyan, guitarist Saro Babikian, and pianist Allen Dishigrikyan.

The books were presented by educator and writer Mr. Kevork Bedikian. After providing an overview of the books, Mr. Bedikian spoke about the general value of books as treasure troves of an author’s inner world, thoughts and feelings, which bridge the reader with the writer. He then spoke of the indelible mark Jacques Hagopian has left on our literary legacy in the Diaspora through eighty years of writing, with valuable works celebrating our Armenian identity, our faith and our heritage. Finally, Mr. Bedikian highlighted the virtues which have made Jacques Hagopian such a beloved figure, his simple and affable nature, effortless writing, impeccable Armenian, warmth, gentle spirit, strong faith, and deep ethnic pride.

Following the presentation, the MC invited the Prelate to convey his blessings and message to the author and guests. His Eminence praised the beautiful and moving program and commended all of the program’s participants. He noted that the two books, published a few months prior in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, echo the national demands of the Armenian people while at the same time testifying to the author’s deep faith and love for our Lord and nation. Speaking on his personal relationship with the poet, His Eminence stated that he first became familiarized with the author’s works as a young student, and later on as Prelate had the opportunity to become personally acquainted with the author and publish his books, during which time he came to know Jacques Hagopian as an incredibly humble man, an exemplary Armenian, a faithful servant of our Lord and nation, a loving father, dedicated teacher, and gifted writer. The Prelate expressed hope that Mr. Hagopian will continue to write, adding to ten of his books that the Prelacy has already published, and concluded by thanking him for enriching our collective life with his pen.

Afterward the author delivered heartwarming remarks, likening the evening to the conclusion of a fable, which ends with the falling of three apples. He had indeed brought three apples with him, the first of which he presented to the Prelate in appreciation for his friendship and collaboration, the second to Mr. Bedikian for his wonderful presentation of the books, and the third he dedicated to the guests. He thanked the organizers for their efforts, and concluded by reciting a passage from his latest book, published in early 2016, describing his sorrow at sending his five year-old son to a non-Armenian school.

At the conclusion of the program the Prelate presented a memento to Mr. Jacques Hagopian while the organizing committee presented bouquets to the participants. After the benediction by the Prelate, guests enjoyed a reception during which they had the opportunity to converse with the author and receive copies of his books.

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