Books

Your Country Is Great
Ara Shirinyan

“Reading travel literature—not to mention postcards or emails from your friends—will never be the same after reading Ara Shirinyan’s hilarious and sardonic Your Country Is Great; Afghanistan-Guyana. Proceeding alphabetically and hence giving equal time to nations as diverse as Belarus and Belgium, Cameroon and Canada, and splicing found text to produce capsule descriptions of one “great” place to visit after another, Shirinyan exposes the fault lines of contemporary geopolitics with much wit and aplomb. In the end, maybe staying home—and reading Shirinyan—is what’s really GREAT.”
    —Marjorie Perloff

“Ara Shirinyan gives us an early glimpse at the deadening effects of globalization on language. Collapsing the space between the 'real world' and the World Wide Web, this book calls into question: What is local? What is national? What is multicultural? Instead of accepting current notions of language as a medium of differentiation, Shirinyan persuasively demonstrates its leveling quality, demolishing meaning into a puddle of platitudes. In a time when everything is great, yet nothing is great, you can almost hear Andy Warhol—the king of blandness and neutrality—saying, 'Gee, this book is great.'”
    —Kenneth Goldsmith

About the Author
Poet, publisher and musician Ara Shirinyan was born in 1977 in, what was then, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia. His writing experiments with constraints, appropriation, and reframing have been published in Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics, Trepan, Greetings, Tuli & Savu, and The Physical Poets Vol.2. His first book Syria is in the World was published by Palm Press in 2007, and Speech Genres 1-2, was published online by UBUWEB in 2007 as part of its Publishing the Unpublishable series. With the group Godzik Pink, he released two CDs (Es Em, Ekel Em and Black Broccoli) on the label Kill Rock Stars/5rc. Since 1987, he has lived in Los Angeles, where he edits Make Now Press, co-curates the monthly reading series at The Smell, and teaches English at local community colleges.

Reviews and Links
View photos from Poetic Research Bureau opening in L.A.
Review on Venepoetics Blog by Guillermo Parra
Interview and reading from Syria is in the World by L.A. Lit (2005)


Spring 2008

136 Pages, 6 × 8 inches 
Paperback Poetry
978-0971680081

$15 U.S.
View Buy

Spring 2008

136 Pages, 6 × 8 inches 
Paperback Poetry
978-0971680081

$15 U.S.
View Buy

“Reading travel literature—not to mention postcards or emails from your friends—will never be the same after reading Ara Shirinyan’s hilarious and sardonic Your Country Is Great; Afghanistan-Guyana. Proceeding alphabetically and hence giving equal time to nations as diverse as Belarus and Belgium, Cameroon and Canada, and splicing found text to produce capsule descriptions of one “great” place to visit after another, Shirinyan exposes the fault lines of contemporary geopolitics with much wit and aplomb. In the end, maybe staying home—and reading Shirinyan—is what’s really GREAT.”
    —Marjorie Perloff

“Ara Shirinyan gives us an early glimpse at the deadening effects of globalization on language. Collapsing the space between the 'real world' and the World Wide Web, this book calls into question: What is local? What is national? What is multicultural? Instead of accepting current notions of language as a medium of differentiation, Shirinyan persuasively demonstrates its leveling quality, demolishing meaning into a puddle of platitudes. In a time when everything is great, yet nothing is great, you can almost hear Andy Warhol—the king of blandness and neutrality—saying, 'Gee, this book is great.'”
    —Kenneth Goldsmith

About the Author
Poet, publisher and musician Ara Shirinyan was born in 1977 in, what was then, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia. His writing experiments with constraints, appropriation, and reframing have been published in Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics, Trepan, Greetings, Tuli & Savu, and The Physical Poets Vol.2. His first book Syria is in the World was published by Palm Press in 2007, and Speech Genres 1-2, was published online by UBUWEB in 2007 as part of its Publishing the Unpublishable series. With the group Godzik Pink, he released two CDs (Es Em, Ekel Em and Black Broccoli) on the label Kill Rock Stars/5rc. Since 1987, he has lived in Los Angeles, where he edits Make Now Press, co-curates the monthly reading series at The Smell, and teaches English at local community colleges.

Reviews and Links
View photos from Poetic Research Bureau opening in L.A.
Review on Venepoetics Blog by Guillermo Parra
Interview and reading from Syria is in the World by L.A. Lit (2005)