Project Description

Nora Nadjarian


Nora Nadjarian is an Armenian Cypriot poet and short story writer. A lot of her work focuses on the loneliness of the “foreigner”, the “exile”, the “homeless”. She has published three collections of poetry and her work has won prizes or been commended in various international competitions, including the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition, the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, and the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition 2005 (Ireland).

Her second poetry collection Cleft in Twain was one of the books from Cyprus recommended in an article in The Guardian on the literature of the new member states of the European Union (1st May 2004).

Her first collection of short stories, Ledra Street, was published in 2006.


You asked me what I was
doing last Sunday, when
you called and didn’t find me in.

I was standing in front of a waterfall
in the Tate Gallery. Not back, like most
people, but close, right up close, looking

looking at, into, this abstract landscape hiding
behind white cascades. I was not sure whether
it was the trees first, or the water, or the shadows

I was recognising. It was all a haze – like a framed
tear- but I clearly knew that the eyes of the land
watching me, lost, here, somewhere in London

were making me shed all my rough edges
to become a soft body full of contours,
ready to step into pounding water

to meet others clinging like me
onto the rock of their identity
in this never-ending, flowing,
falling, falling waterfall.

You asked me once what
it means to be Armenian.
It is quite difficult to explain.

© Nora Nadjarian

Inspired by Arshile Gorky’s The Waterfall (1943)
Arshile Gorky (1904 – 1948) was born in Armenia and emigrated to the USA in 1920. He has been referred to as an artist-in-exile, for whom art became a homeland.