Armenian poet Karen Antashyan and British writer Fiona Sampson, inspired by Shakespearean sonnets, came up with their own interpretation of Shakespearean sonnets thus giving spark to literary cooperation between Armenia and the UK.
Sonnet Exchange Programme made part of the «Literary Ark 2016» international festival supported by the British Council. The festival supported young writers in their creative quest of new literary genres and ideas
Karen Antashyan , a programme participant, presented his “ Gago and Universal Tedium ” poem to the students of Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov. Fiona Sampson joined the meeting by Skype and presented her poem Drowned Man.
“Shakespeare’s characters are often set into dead-end situations. The character in my poem, who is a young man in his thirties, appears in a similar one.”, says Karen Antashyan.
“ The possibilities of being matched in a discussion and co-creation with Armenian poets looks exciting to me – and I am truly (despite the doctors’ anxieties, now largely calmed) in good health and look forward to working with them and you on this’’, says Fiona Sampson.
The Sonnet Exchange Programme is part of Shakespeare Lives project marking the 400th anniversary of the poet’s death. This kind of events have already been hosted in some countries in Europe, as well as in Vietnam, Indonesia and Russia.
Karen Antashyan has published three books and is the co-founder of Granish club whose mission is to promote modern Armenian writers and literature.
Fiona Sampson has published 19 books and is the recipient of a number of awards. She studied at Oxford University and made a brief career of a violinist.