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Keith Garebian

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Keith Garebian was born in Bombay, India to an Anglo-Indian mother and an Armenian father. He immigrated to Canada in 1961. He obtained an M.A. in English from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in 1971 with a thesis entitled The Significance of Extravagance, Mediocrity and Fire in Hamlet. His Ph.D. thesis, The Spirit of Place: A Comparative Study of R.K. Narayan and V.S. Naipaul, was completed at Queen’s University in 1973. Garebian launched his career as a freelance literary and theatre critic. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and anthologies, not to mention a dozen books on theatre or literary criticism. In recent years he has published a memoir, volumes of poetry and one chapbook. Garebian lives in Mississauga, Ontario, where he was appointed Critic-at-large by the Mississauga Public Library. He recently published a collection of short essays: Mini Musings: Miniature Thoughts on Theatre and Poetry (Guernica Press, 2020).

Poetry

Against Forgetting

Calgary: Frontenac House, 2019.
PS8563 .A645 A72 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A delve into the personal history of a man affected by the Armenian genocide and the ways he makes Canada home. The poetic lines and strong emotional tug of the book outline the long lasting effects of trauma and what it means to remake a home.

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Poetry

Blue: The Derek Jarman Poems

Winnipeg, Man.: Signature Editions, 2008.
PS8563 .A645 B58 2008

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In this life-affirming, cinematic, at turns randy and elegiac verse-biography, Keith Garebian celebrates one of the world’s truly unforgettable and rebellious spirits.

Awards and Honours

2009 MARTY Best Established Literary Arts Award (Winner)

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Poetry

Children of Ararat

Calgary: Frontenac House, 2010.
PS8563 .A645 C55 2010

Publisher’s Synopsis

Keith Garebian’s most personal book to date, Children of Ararat, is the poignant recollection of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Poetry

Finger to Finger

Calgary: Frontenac House, 2022.
Forthcoming 2022.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In his tenth poetry collection, Keith Garebian writes with savage honesty about love and its discontents, art, travel, disease, and aging. The poems have revealing gestures and situations, all drawn from personal experience. Though pared down, they have edge, and their lyrical fluency, with striking turns of feeling and imagery, never obscure the poet’s beating heart and vulnerabilities.

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Poetry

Frida: Paint Me as a Volcano = Frida: Un Volcan de Souffrance

Translation by Arlette Francière.
Ottawa: BuschekBooks, 2004.
PS8562 .A645 F75 2004

Poetry

Georgia and Alfred

Toronto: Quattro Books, 2015.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Combining documentary Found Poems with ekphrastic poems and imaginative lyrics, Georgia and Alfred  by Keith Garebian places two imagined voices – painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s and photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s – in interaction with the poet’s voice. The work gathers together moments of their complicated relationship as collectible pieces, miniature realities that retouch, doctor, enlarge, or crop fact in order to capture humanness and art before they burn in time.

Poetry

In the Bowl of My Eye

Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2022.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In his ninth collection of poetry, Keith Garebian pays attention to inner and outer realities of place and psyche, turning conventional landscape poetry inside-out. Focusing on the Lakeshore Road area of Mississauga/Etobicoke, Garebian explores small and large things, creating a space in which inner and outer landscapes meet, resulting in a striking poetic vessel of cognition, perception, and sensitivity. Meditatively alert, these poems open up perceptions of a sentient world within a specific geography, history, and sociology, while providing insights into suburbia and some of its characters, including the poet and his own personal life. The world of lake, park, and road is conjoined with a suburban world of apartment, shopping mall, immigrants, and fraught lives through language that has a deep-rooted sense of mood, tone, and melody.

Poetry

Moon on Wild Grasses

Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2013.
E-book (Access restricted to members of the university community)

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Moon on Wild Grasses, with illustrations by the author, shows the unsuspected scope of a very concise, precise poetic form. Keith Garebian’s haiku encompass a wide range of themes in a vividly elegant style that combines the pictorial with the passionate, erotic or reflective. Nature, empirical experience, the self, love, death, and grief are captured with a perceptive, sensitive eye.

Poetry

Poetry is Blood

Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2018.
PS8563 .A645 P64 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Combining eloquent lyrics and edgy anti-lyrics, the poems in Poetry is Blood both rehearse and flout conventions of lyric poetry to speak with deep-rooted melancholy about family and tribal history, ancient walls, paintings, monuments, martyred poets, and genocidal madness. These pieces have the wide cross-stylistic reach of elegy yet fearlessly resist any redemptive rhetoric.

Poetry

Reservoir of Ancestors: Poems

Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press, 2003.
PS8563 .A645 R48 2003

Publisher’s Synopsis

In Reservoir of Ancestors, Keith Garebian explores the theme of manifestations of love – through ancestors, the roots of history, and the various transfigurations of experience and art, such as romance, marriage, sexuality, theatre, painting and film. His poems demonstrate a strong lyricism.

Poetry (Chapbook)

Samson’s Hair and Other Satirical Fantasies

Toronto: Micro Prose, 2004.
Edition of 100.

Poetry

SCAN: Cancer Poems

Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow Press, 2021.
Dis/ability series ; no. 22.
Edition of 100.

Non-fiction (Memoir)

Pain: Journeys Around my Parents

Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press, [2000].
PN1708 .G3 A3 2000

Publisher’s Synopsis

Pain is a fascinating memoir which explores Garebian’s origins, his childhood, his memories of India, his encounters with his mixed parentage and heritage, his emigration. In this powerful work, the prose is elusive, literary and historical. The characters are unforgettable. The reminiscences are both painful and vivid.
Pain is an important addition to the literature of emigration and multiculturalism and enhances the international reputation of Keith Garebian.

Awards and Honours

2000 Mississauga Arts Award for Writing (Winner)

Links

Publisher Mosaic Press

Publisher BuschekBooks

Publisher Frontenac House

Publisher Quattro Books

Publisher Signature Editions

Garebian’s personal website

Directory of members of the League of Canadian Poets