East & West Dialogue with Keith Garebian and Jirair Tutunjian: The Odysseys of Recovering

At East & West Dialogue, volunteer guest speakers from different cultural backgrounds come to East and West Learning Connections to share their living experiences, thoughts and concerns, and have a dialogue with our audience.

This month, we are very much honoured to be joined by two prominent Armenian Canadian authors: a literary critic/poet and a magazine editor. They shall address the topics of immigrant odysseys, and how sometimes exile and self-exile can lead to a recovery of roots of identity and more!

Time: Saturday June 29, 2024 at 7:30 – 9 P.M. (Eastern Time)

Please RSVP to info@eawlc.org if you wish to participate in person or register the online Zoom session. .

Keith Garebian
Courtesy of Elisabeth Feryn

Keith Garebian was born in Bombay, India, to an Armenian father (who had survived the 1915 Armenian genocide) and an Anglo-Indian mother. The eldest of three children, he and his family immigrated to Canada in 1961, where he obtained his B.Ed. (Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal) and B.A. and launched a teaching career which lasted 30 years. A graduate of Concordia University (M.A.) and Queen’s University (Ph.D.), he began his freelance career as a literary and theatre critic in Montreal in 1975, producing 30 books and 4 chapbooks since then.

Next year Guernica Editions will publish a special anthology of essays about Garebian’s literary works. His honours include the Naji Naaman Honour Prize (Lebanon), four Mississauga Arts Awards for Established Writing, the Surrey International Poetry Award, the Ellen S. Jaffe Humanist Poetry Award, and the William Saroyan Medal (Armenia), among many others.  Garebian has also served on literary and theatre juries for the Ontario Arts Council. Some of his prose and poetry have been translated into French, German, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Armenian.

Visit his performing and literary arts review website for more information about Keith Garebian.

Courtesy of Jirair Tutunjian

Born in Jerusalem, Palestine, Jirair (Jerry) Tutunjian graduated from the local Armenian high school. He came to Canada in 1964, where he received a diploma and degree in journalism. At
24 he became the youngest Canadian magazine editor. In the next 40 years he founded, published and edited six Canadian and international award-winning magazines.

He raised the circulation of one of the magazines from 120,000 to 640,000 by bringing in such contributors as Barry Callaghan, Pierre Berton, Al Purdy, Howard Engels, Clyde Gilmour, Kildare Dobbs, photographer John Reeves, etc. The magazine he edited was chosen in 2008, as one of the “10 All-Time Most Influential Canadian Magazines”. It used reports from 80 countries. Tutunjian taught magazine writing at the University of Toronto. An award-winning author, with over 1,200 articles and news reports, he has written five books and is writing a sixth. He is a frequent contributor to Keghart.org and a contributing editor at Exile magazine. He also edits novels for a US publisher. He has delivered speeches at industry affairs, at community colleges, universities,
and at community events.

  • Free hybrid event. Transcript of translations of other languages available on Zoom.
  • Participants on the spot will have an opportunity to win a signed copy of the author’s books! RSVP to info@eawlc.org if you wish to participate in person
  • Venue: 1585 Yonge Street, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (Use the Toronto School for Strings and Piano entrance)
  • Free parking, close to St. Clair Subway Station.
  • Door opens at 7 p.m.
  • Light snacks will be provided. You are encouraged to bring your own water bottle to help reduce disposable waste.