David Kherdian was born in Racine, Wisconsin. He is the author and editor of over seventy books, that include poetry, novels, memoirs, biographies, bibliographies, children’s books, as well as critical studies, translations, and retellings. He has published nine contemporary American poetry anthologies, including Beat Voices (Henry Holt, 1995), and two seminal works: Down At The Santa Fe Depot: 20 Fresno Poets (The Giligia Press, 1970), that inspired a series of city and state anthologies, and Settling America: The Ethnic Expression Of 14 Contemporary American Poets (Macmillan, 1974), one of the first multi-ethnic anthologies published in this country. His Retelling Of Monkey: A Journey To The West (Shambhala, 1992), the most popular classic of Asian literature, was selected by the Quality Paperback Division of the Book-of-the-Month Club, and was also purchased for television. His numerous awards for The Road From Home: The Story Of An Armenian Girl, include a Newbery Honor Book Award, the Jane Addams Award, the Boston Globe / Horn Book Award, The Banta Award, The Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and a nomination for The American Book Award. He was also awarded The Friends of American Writers Award for his novel, Beyond Two Rivers, and for lifetime achievement the 1994 Notable Wisconsin Authors Award, and in 2008 the Emily Lee Award, that was presented together with a Legislative Citation from the Wisconsin State Assembly. In the fall of 2012 he will receive The Armenian Star Award.
He was the editor of Ararat magazine, and the founding editor of Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic- American Literature, as well as Stopinder: A Gurdjieff Journal For Our Time. His wife, Caldecott Award winning children’s book illustrator, Nonny Hogrogian, was the art director for these journals and together they operated three small presses, that included books handset and handbound, and published in limited editions by letterpress.
An hour long documentary on his poetry, by the New York independent filmmaker Jim Belleau, was released in 1997. His most recent titles include Buddha: The Story Of An Awakened Life, from White Cloud Press, Letters To My Father from RiverWood Press, and The Song Of The Stork: Early And Ancient Armenian Songs from Garod Press in London, and his 20th book of poems, Nearer The Heart by Taderon Press in London. In 2007 Heyday Books published Forgotten Bread: Armenian American Writers Of The First Generation. His translations of the poetry of Charentz, Armenia’s greatest poet of the 20th century was published in 2008. His latest book is an anthology of his own work in the many genres he has worked in: Gatherings: Selected and Uncollected Writings (Tavnon Books, 2011).
David Kherdian’s works have been translated into 17 languages around the world.