Factory Town in Prose and in Poetry

15 January 2021

Veteran American-Armenian poet David Kherdian’s latest book (“A Place in Time”) is a 300-page memoir in prose and poetry that recounts life in Racine, Wisconsin in the pre- and post-WWII years. The Midwest factory town near Lake Michigan had for decades a bustling Armenian community.

The people of Racine (“the most overlooked aspect of any factory town”), friends, parents, and the town drunk are the focus of Kherdian’s memoir. Although the book is Kherdian’s memoirs, his words help readers explore their own thoughts, feelings, and memories.

Kherdian was born in Racine, the locale of his remarkable 13-volume Root River Cycle. His biography of his mother (“The Road From Home”) is his best-known book and has been continuously in print in various editions since its first publication in 1979. It has also been translated into 17 languages. Kherdian will follow “A Place in Time” with the 9th century Armenian bardic epic, David of Sassoun.


Here’s a sample from “A Place in Time”.


The lighthouse stood at a safe remove
from the call of the city. A beacon
that lent its strength without needing to
participate in what it held.
From the beach and from the lakeshore
drive, we could see it in the distance,
towering, strong, a citadel of pure white,
revolving around itself in moving light
Bewitching the waters it looked out upon,
that it no longer protected, but with its
certainty, its surety, and its stability
Giving us that sense of something that
was from us and yet not of us, whose ownership
was possessed by another’s hand, and some other
mysterious life.

To learn more, follow the link to the book launch site .

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