Aram Saroyan

 Aram Saroyan, installation view, Hammer Museum, 2016 

Aram Saroyan, installation view, Hammer Museum, 2016 

 
 

Aram Saroyan is a poet, novelist, memoirist, and playwright. He attended the University of Chicago, New York University, and Columbia University, but did not complete a degree. The son of the writer William Saroyan, Aram made his debut as a writer with six poems and a review of Robert Creeley's novel The Island in the April 1964 issue of Poetry magazine. He became famous for his one-word or “minimal” poems, a form he developed during the early and mid-1960s, and which is often linked to Concrete poetry. Saroyan is also frequently linked to Second Generation New York School Poets and conceptual art. Saroyan’s first books in this mode were Aram Saroyan (1968) and Pages (1969). His poem consisting of the single word “lighght” was selected by Robert Duncan for inclusion in the American Literary Anthology and received an award from the then-new National Endowment for the Arts—for which it also received scorn and ridicule from conservative demagogues including Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan. “Apparently the crux of the poem,” Saroyan has observed, “is to try and make the ineffable, which is light—which we only know about because it illuminates something else—into a thing. An extra ‘gh’ does it… It’s sculptural on that level.”

 

His visual arts practice, although under recognized for most of his career has recently been foregrounded in at the 2016 L.A. Biennial, which was subtitles after one of Saroyan’s poems,  “a, the, though, only” and at Commonwealth & Co., Los Angeles (2016).   

Saroyan’s Autobiography will be installed an am immersive audio installation in the Hospital at the English Camp, in context with a site responsive installation by Jeffry Mitchell; a text installation of one of his Minimal Poems will occupy the window of studio e.