The award-winning husband and wife team of author David Kherdian and author/illustrator Nonny Hogrogian will discuss and read from their books at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2, at California State University, Fresno.

The lecture is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2005 Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by the Armenian Students Organization. It will be held in the Industrial Technology Building, room 101 (corner of Barstow Avenue and Campus Drive).

David Kherdian, a Newberry Award winner, and Nonny Hogrogian, a two-time Caldecott Medal winner, have written, edited or illustrated a combined total of more than 100 books.

Their work has encompassed the Armenian Genocide, life in America as first-generation Armenians, children’s books, memoirs in verse and prose, folklore and the mystical teachings of George Gurdjieff.

David Kherdian will read from one of his latest books, “The Song of the Stork,” a spirited translation of an important collection of poems first compiled and published by the Mekhitarist priest and scholar Levond Alishan in Venice in 1850. Kherdian writes of these songs/poems that “their humility and troubled faith draws a response from that place in us that is reserved for the essential and true from our own unspoiled reservoir of spirit, that understands what has been lost and can yet be regained.” The book features illustrations by his wife.

He also will read from some earlier books of poetry and memoirs, concluding with readings from his new book, “Letters to My Father,” which is a meditation on the elusive bond between fathers and sons.

Kherdian won the Newberry Award for “The Road From Home: The Story of An Armenian Girl,” which detailed his mother’s experiences in surviving the Armenian Genocide. Read by students and adults alike, it has contributed greatly to increasing awareness of the Genocide.

He has been widely recognized as one of the most important and distinctive voices in Armenian-American poetry for nearly four decades. The title poem to his collection “On the Death of My Father was praised by William Saroyan as “one of the best lyric poems in American poetry.”

Hogrogian has twice won children’s literature’s highest honor, the Caldecott Medal, for her books “Always Room for One More” and “One Fine Day.”

Her newest book, “Finding My Name,” is a memoir of her first 13 years growing up in the Bronx in New York. It explores both her efforts to find herself as a budding artist and the joys and difficulties of growing up as an Armenian-American torn between two cultures.

Her illustrations to Virginia Tashjian’s Armenian folktale collections “Once There Was and Was Not” and “Three Apples Fell from Heaven” and her husband’s retelling of the Armenian tale “The Golden Bracelet” are beloved by several generations of Armenian children.

Following the authors’ talk and question-and-answer period, they will be available to sign copies of their new titles and selected older titles. Copies of Kherdian’s books will be available for purchase.

Relaxed parking will be available in Lots Q, K, and L after 7 p.m. the night of the lecture. For more information on the presentation please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669.

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