National Poetry Month - Alex Vartan Gubbins Pt. 1

May 1, 2020

April is National Poetry Month, and Public Radio 90 observes the occasion by presenting readings by poets from Northern Michigan University and surrounding communities.

Today's poetry comes from Alex Vartan Gubbins, who lives in West Ishpeming and has previously lived in Marquette. His poetry was previously featured on Public Radio 90's National Poetry Month productions. He's written and recorded poems in four languages: Arabic, Armenian, Anishinaabemowin, and English. He's also recorded each poem in the native language with its translation into English.

First, Alex presents an Arabic poem and four Armenian poems. We'll hear the poems in English first, followed by their native language. We begin with the poem, A Teacher's Migration (Hijrat al-Muderris). The poem in Arabic is dedicated to the teachers Alex worked with while teaching English overseas in Qatar, between 2014 and 2016 at the community college of Qatar, and NMU is currently offering Arabic language in the fall. Then, we'll hear the four Armenian poems: Transition (Antsoum); At the Foot of Jdrduz (Jdrduzi Storoteen); Curve Study (Kori Ousoumnasiroutyoun); From a Hotel, Stepanakert (Hyouranotsits, Stepanakert); first in English, then in Armenian. The poems in Armenian are inspired by paintings of Armenian landscapes by the artist David Sorensen.

Alex's poetry originally aired on Public Radio 90 on 4/28/2020 & 4/29/2020

National Poetry Month readings are a production of Public Radio 90, WNMU-FM Marquette. Hear archive recordings of past participants: wnmufm.org/programs/national-poetry-month