When a book of Shiraz's poetry is published it
sells out within a week in Armenia. "Memorial for my Mother", had a printing of
50,000 and sold out in the usual time.
Shiraz is Armenia's most popular poet. He was
born in Alexandrapol (now called Gyumri) in Armenia, and lost his father in the
Turkish invasions six years later. Shiraz worked in trades, in mills, and in
various other jobs until the publication of his first book of poems, Spring Dawn
(1935), which brought him instant recognition.
In 1941 he graduated from Erevan State
University. His early writing, between I937 and 1941, when other poets were
producing a party line brand of poetry called social realism, remained
independent. His poetry has become even more nationalistic over the years,
demanding the return of captured lands and the return of the diaspora to the