Celebration: Queer Armenian Voices in Drag, Poetry, and Sapphic RomCom 25 April

Thursday, 4/25/2024  6:00 – 7:30pm

Eureka Valley General Floor Area

https://sfpl.org/events/2024/04/25/celebration-queer-armenian-voices-drag-poetry-and-sapphic-romcom

Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial

Address: 1 Jose Sarria Court
San Francisco, CA 94114


Join us for an electrifying evening celebrating the intersections of SWANA, Armenian and queer culture, featuring performances by beloved drag king VERA!, poetry by language advocate Hrayr Varaz, and a glimpse into the world of award-winning writer Taleen Voskuni.

Experience an evening of creativity as we feature three exceptional individuals who embody activism and expression. From VERA!’s infectious laughter and advocacy for inclusivity in the drag community to Hrayr Varaz’s innovative linguistic techniques and passion for Western Armenian revitalization, and Taleen Voskuni’s storytelling that has received critical acclaim, this event promises to be a memorable celebration of art, identity and community. Join us for the magic of Queer Armenian Voices—you won’t want to miss it.

VERA! is a beloved Oakland-based queer Armenian drag king known for their infectious laughter, acceptance and love. Beyond the stage, Vera serves as the Associate Director of Development at the Alameda Health System Foundation, supporting accessible healthcare initiatives. As a proud member and cohost of the Rebel Kings of Oakland and father of House of Pack, VERA! uplifts the drag community and advocates for inclusivity and activism through their art. 

Hrayr Varaz is a poet, linguist and advocate for Western Armenian language and culture. A graduate of UCLA and MIT, Varaz’s passion for Armenian education and language revitalization shines through in his work, including his pocket-sized book of Twitter poems, #jivjiv. Through innovative linguistic techniques and a playful approach to grammar and orthography, Varaz seeks to demystify Western Armenian and encourage language learners of all ages. With a desire to liberate writers from the fear of making mistakes, Varaz’s book embodies a spirit of creativity and exploration. Based in San Francisco, Varaz also emphasizes his commitment to acknowledging and honoring the indigenous lands of the Ramaytush Ohlone First Peoples.

Taleen Voskuni is an award-winning writer who grew up in the Bay Area Armenian diaspora. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English and currently lives in San Francisco, working in tech. Other than a newfound obsession with writing rom-coms, she spends her free time cultivating her kids, her garden and her dark chocolate addiction. Her first novel, Sorry, Bro, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, was named an Amazon editor’s pick, and was favorably reviewed in The New York Times. Sorry, Bro is also winner of the 2023 Golden Poppy award for best romance. Lavash at First Sight is her second published novel.

Attendees will receive a complimentary copies of Queer SWANA (South West Asian and North African) book titles, including Voskuni’s, Sorry, Bro. While supplies last.


Connect: 

Vera Hannush – Instagram

Hraryr Varaz – Instagram