Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Posts Tagged ‘william saroyan’

30 December 2005: The Ninth Annual Celebrating Saroyan Event

Posted by Christina on March 1, 2009

613-saroyan_ledestandaloneprod_affiliate8I was invited to cover this event by American-Armenian author and poet, William Saroyan’s niece, Jacqueline Kazarian during the event’s ninth year. The program was truly inspiring and thoroughly memorable moment in celebrating the Armenian heritage.

The Ninth Annual Celebrating Saroyan Event

In the North Beach section of San Francisco, California, City Lights Bookstore sits like a beacon of tradition and history in a dark fog of our fears of forgetting. Our nation’s first all paperback bookstore was founded in 1953 by Peter D. Martin and San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It fostered the Beat movement of the 1950’s and become a sort of plentiful, precious hole-in-the-wall for books on social and political issues, fiction, essays, memoirs, translations and poetry. Today, City Lights maintains its historical value and continues to help pave the way for up and coming poets of our generation. Its surrounding streets have been named after some of greatest writers of our time. It’s no surprise then, that cross streets to 261 Columbus Avenue are none other than Jack Kerouac Alley and William Saroyan Place.

“One of the most important things that I can share with you are my stories that I’ve experienced, stories that I’ve heard from my great grandmother, Lucy, and my grandmother, Takoohi, from my Auntie Cosette, from my mother…and Uncle Bill,” says Jacqueline Kazarian, Saroyan’s niece, who has been orchestrating this event since its first installment in 1996. Kazarian marks the Ninth Annual Celebrating Saroyan Event at the San Francisco Public Library by first presenting treasured memories from her childhood with “Uncle Bill,” namely how one of our century’s most celebrated writers created a “live laboratory” from his sister’s five children. “He never talked about this but he must have known that he was going to use us as the inspiration for some of his stories,” Kazarian explains.

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