The CCW arose from a simple but increasingly forgotten fact: Poetry can save your life and build a new future.
In a growingly fragile, post-capitalist world, developing countries like Armenia are especially vulnerable. Whatever socio-economic difficulties exist in highly modernized societies, they are exponentially intense in places like Armenia, where there’s been a mass exodus of an already small population, good paying jobs are scarce, many institutions are weak, and oligarchs had been choking people’s hope for over 25 years.
But in the spring of 2018, something unthinkable happened. Hundreds of thousands, if not well over a million Armenians stopped going to work and school. And in 10 days, they toppled an authoritarian regime and replaced it with hope, fair elections, transparency, compassion, and justice.
It was a movement led by students. And a number of those students study and write poetry at the American University of Armenia (AUA) in courses that sprung from the CCW’s mission.
The Center for Creative Writing believes that any developing country must maintain a high level of innovative cultural production in order to foster progress, help maintain people’s sense of dignity and compassion, raise the level of public discourse, and channel the potential of youth.
That potential has been slowly revealing itself in AUA classrooms since 2015, one poem, one story at a time, headed for a new horizon.