Lola Koundakjian is an Armenian poet who has lived in New York City since 1979. She is the daughter of Harry L Koundakjian (1930-2014) and Aida Poladian Koundakjian (1934-2019).
In 2021, she was awarded the Minas and Kohar Tölölyan Prize in Contemporary Literature.
In 2020, Nueva York Poetry Press published Lola's third volume of poetry, The Moon in the Cusp of My Hand/La lune en la cúspide de mi mano.
Several readings following the book launch were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however Lola read via Zoom in July (Armenian Institute, London) and the 30th anniversary edition of the International Poetry Festival on August 19, 2020, in Medellín, Colombia.
In 2019, Lola appeared in two panels at AWP in Portland, Oregon dedicated to the memory of Diana Der-Hovanessian and on the topic of Permanent Longing: Connecting Across Borders in Writing About Lost Homelands. On April 24 Lola read with four other Armenian authors, at the Asian American Writers' Workshop which was broadcast live and is available on youtube.com. Her poem Այսօր -- originally published in Horizon's Literary supplement in May 2016 -- was chosen by the Poetry Society, UK for a Young Poets Network translation workshop. In October 2019, she read at the FIP in Santiago Chile and a satellite reading took place in Valparaiso.
In 2018, Lola read in four events in New York City during the course of spring. Lola was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on European Regions: Progress in Literary Culture at the annual MLA convention; the event was postponed due to bad weather. In 2017, she published several poems in various journals. In 2016, she participated in a conference at Oxford University’s Pembroke College dedicated to Western Armenian in the 21st century, sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal.
Lola’s poetry has appeared in journals and websites such as: alpialdelapalabra (Argentina), Armenian Poetry Project (New York City), The Literary Groong (University of Southern California), Blood and Thunder (University of Oklahoma College of Medicine), One by Jacar Press, BigCityLit, Crime Poetry Weekly, Poetas Siglo XXI, Mediterranean Poetry, Atelier (Italy), and, UniVerse (Chicago); Anthology Memoria del XX Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellin (Colombia), Fórnix 12 (Lima, Peru) Mizna (Vol 13, 2, USA), Anthology - Multilingual, the Americas Poetry Festival of New York, Artepoética, October 2016 ISBN-13 978-1-940075-46-4; Kragan Spiurk - Literary Diaspora, (Armenia), Jamanak (Turkey), Horizon (Canada) Armenian Weekly and Hairenik (Boston, USA) and Pakin (Beirut, Lebanon).
In the U.S., Lola read her work in venues in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York City. In 2011, she read at the 3rd edition of The Americas Poetry Festival of New York in 2016, the first edition of New York Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island, and has appeared at Poets House; KGB Bar; Great Weather's Spoken Word Sundays at the Parkside Lounge Cornelia Street Café; the New York Public Library; Voices in the City; the Englewood NJ Public Library; the Bowery Poetry Club; the Nuyorican Café; the Shevchenko Scientific Society; the United Nations Correspondents Association; several editions of her neighborhood’s Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) events including the annual Arts Stroll; Sunday Best, WordUp bookstore, Local Word, Bloom, and, the Above The Bridge reading series. Her collaborations include appearances with the L.A. Zephyrs, GARTAL, and the Greek-American reading series, as well as the Zvartnots String Quartet.
For over 25 years, Lola has organized evenings dedicated to the Dead Armenian Poets’ Society, and since 2006 has produced and edited text and audio, and translated for the multi-lingual Armenian Poetry Project.
Lola’s work was translated into Arabic, Asturian, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
In the past she was an invited poet at four international poetry festivals: the 20th Festival Internacional de Poesía, Medellín, Colombia in July 2010; in 2013, to the Second Festival Internacional de Poesía, in Lima, Peru; the first Mamilla International Poetry Festival in Ramallah, West Bank, and in 2014, to the 30th international poetry festival at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
After her Master’s degree from Columbia University, Lola presented academic papers in several Armenian Studies and Middle East Studies Association conferences. Her papers have been published in conference proceedings in the U.S., Europe and Armenia.
Lola has received literary grants from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) in 2011 and 2012, and the Mabel Fenner Scholarship, in 2011. She is the recipient of the 2014 Naji Naaman prize - creativity, and a finalist in the Orange Book prize in Armenia. She has taken poetry workshops led by distinguished writers such as Marie Howe (NY State Poet Laureate), Billy Collins (U.S. Poet Laureate), Mark Doty, Patricia Smith, Elaine Equi, and Suzanne Parker. In 2020 she participated in Gathering of Poets.
To contact Lola, email her at Koundakjian[at]gmail.com