Aiwa Trailblazers

Kalemkiarian, Zaruhi Seferian

Writer, Public Activist

1874 – 1971

July 13, 2021

Born in Constantinople (Istanbul), Zaruhi  studied at the local Aramyan school. Her first poems were published under the pen name “Yevterpe” in the Women’s Section of the periodicals Manzume Efkyar and Byuzandyon. Later collections of her poetry were published between 1892 and 1894: Nvakh Yevterpya (Yevterpyan Tunes), Zartonk (Awakening), and Mrmunj (Murmur). The major themes of her poetry were: the tragedy of an abandoned people, injustice in the world, and praise for true love.

Kalemkiaryan then turned to short stories and prose poems, now writing under a new pen name, “K. Zaruhi.” She was an active member of the Armenian Women’s Association and a major contributor to that organization’s newspaper, Hai Guin. In postwar Istanbul, she participated in relief work, specifically in the management of the Armenian Red Cross branch hospital in the Shishli section of Istanbul.
In 1926 she moved to New York, where she settled permanently and contributed to the periodicals Lraper, Baikar, and Hayastani Gochnag.  She published three memoirs: Tornikis kirke (My Grandchild’s Book, an account of her journey from Istanbul to New York, 1936), Gyankis Jampen (From the Road of My Life, 1952), and Orer ev Temker (Days and Portraits, 1965), Her memoirs on the Armenian intellectuals of Constantinople have also been preserved, including those about D. Varujan.

She died in New York.

Prepared by the Central State Archives, Republic of Armenia

History of New Armenian Literature, v. 4, Yerevan, 1972.
1986. Medsarents and D. Varujan in the Memoirs of their Contemporaries, Yerevan, 1986. Armenian Brief Encyclopedia, v. 1, Yerevan, 1990.