Tina Demirdjian’s first book, Imprint, is published thanks to a grant from the City of Glendale’s Arts and Culture Commission and additional funding from the Durfee Foundation. Dr. Arpi Sarafian says of Demirdjian’s new book: “Tina’s images, so exact and so stunningly fresh, reach deep into the experience and give expression to her feelings with such delicacy and sensitivity that the world she represents becomes our own.” A selection of Demirdjian’s poems have appeared in Aspora, Ararat International Journal, The Los Angeles Times, High Performance, Midwest Poetry Review, The Texas Observer, and in Birthmark: a bi-lingual anthology of Armenian-American poetry published in 1999. She is the recipient of three honorable mentions from the Arroyo Arts Collective’s Poetry in the Windows contests. Demirdjian has also taught poetry in schools, libraries and community centers throughout Los Angeles since 1991. Her work in classrooms has produced numerous student anthologies.


I come from women
in long dark clothing
covered smiles, and
dark silent eyes:
a hush in the room
captured in black and white.

Men in woolen stripes
solid gold watches
hanging from their pockets
men with mustached faces
peering from the walls.

In my grandmother's house
history melted
into the wallpaper
filled with scattered flowers
and musty odors
in rooms where ancient stories
slept behind each glass
that held a photograph.


I want to wrap
myself in grapeleaves

so you can taste
my grandmother's 
cooking from New York
a world not far
from your
backdoor now
you smell me
simmering in the pot
waiting for your hands
to touch my skin
rolled to keep
the flavor
inside your mouth


The Raven

A raven
on the thin branch
of a pine tree

bouncing in mid-air
from her own weight

and on that single branch

that barely
her weight

we all wait
and balance ourselves

we must fly away

All 3 poems from Imprint
© 2003 Tina Demirdjian