Writing Within the Diaspora: On Persian and Armenian Displacement and Literature

Room 2210, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level
Friday, February 9, 2024
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


The Armenian and Persian diasporas of the eighties had an indelible effect on the populations that were displaced. Much like any people that have lost, or were removed from their homelands, a generation of children have grown and matured seeking the words to describe what they experienced, and continue to experience. This panel explains how artists have used their experiences, not as trauma fodder, but instead to examine the core of existence and reclaim their own agency.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWPPanelOutlineforUpload.pdf.pdf



Maryam Shadmehr is an Iranian-American writer whose work hovers in the cross section of natural elements, mental health, and her faith. She is currently editing her debut novel and working as senior fiction editor for jmww literary journal. Maryam also maintains a literature blog and writes poems.

Arthur Kayzakian is the winner of the 2021 Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series for his collection The Book of Redacted Paintings. He was also selected as a finalist for the 2021 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. He also won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition for My Burning City.

Armen Davoudian is the author of The Palace of Forty Pillars, forthcoming from Tin House Books in March 2024. His poems and translations from Persian appear in Poetry magazine, the Hopkins Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. Armen grew up in Isfahan, Iran and lives in California.

Fatemeh Shams


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center