Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Nora Nadjarian

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Girl, Wolf, Bones


Nora Nadjarian

Nora Nadjarian wwwheiditrautmanncompicturesNora20nn2020Ko

Writer, teacher, advisory editor

Literary movement
Postcolonial literature

Armenian Cypriot Poet Nora Nadjarian (Oct 26, 2016)

Nora Nadjarian is an Armenian–Cypriot poet and short story writer. She writes in English and Armenian, as well as Greek. Her writing mostly centres on the island of Cyprus, especially the partition of Cyprus into North and South, though there are numerous works of universal themes. A frequent participant in international competitions, poetry festivals, literary conferences and other projects, her poems and short stories have also appeared in numerous anthologies around the world including Cyprus, United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, India, New Zealand and Israel. The writer has said that her work is inspired by Sylvia Plath and Yehuda Amichai. Paul Celan, Pablo Neruda and Sharon Olds are a few other idols that she has mentioned.



Nora Nadjarian was born in 1966 in Limassol, a city on the southern coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Her grandparents were Armenian refugees who moved to Cyprus in the beginning of the 20th century. She first attended an Armenian elementary school, then moved to a private school called The Foley's Grammar School where she graduated from high school. She obtained a degree from Manchester University's department of modern languages and linguistics and then returned to Cyprus. She taught in Limassol and then in Nicosia, where she is currently residing. She visited her ancestral homeland of Armenia in 1983 which inspired her to write poems based on ethnic identity, cultural self-discovery, her Armenian roots and the tragic fate of the nation. She first decided to participate in a competition because of the encouragements of a friend, and after being acknowledged for her poem "Vinegar" (1999–2000) she continued to take part in numerous international competitions.

Critical Review

Nora Nadjarian has received international praise for her work, especially for that centring on themes of the Cyprus partition of 1974, identity and loss. Her "stories are political without being polemical", she writes of an ongoing battle in both the physical sense and mind inside the Cypriot heart that is defined by the division in Nicosia between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot side of the island without taking on a side. She condemns the battle itself, not the people. Her work is read beyond the Mediterranean borders and can very much be identified with in its search to find what defines one's nationality.

Other reviews can be found at:

  • The Guardian

  • Cadences
  • William Macfarlane, review of Nora Nadjarian, Girl, Wolf, Bones (2011), in Cadences 8 (2012), 110–111.

    Poetry Books

  • The Voice at the Top of the Stairs (2001)
  • Cleft in Twain (2003)
  • 25 Ways to Kiss a Man (2004)
  • Micro Novel

  • “Republic of Love” (2010)
  • Short Story Books

  • “Ledra Street” (2006) – Translated to Bulgarian by Zhenya Dimova (2011)
  • “Girl, Wolf, Bones” (2011)
  • Mini Book

  • The Girl and the Rain (2012)
  • Other Works (Short Stories and Poems)

  • “Three Facts” (2001)
  • “When You Return to Ashtarak" (2005)
  • "The Young Soldier" (2006) – Included in Exiled ink! (2006), p. 21
  • “Impossible” (2006) – Included in Exiled ink! (2006), p. 21
  • “Diaspora” (2008) – Translated to Armenian by Maggie Eskidjian
  • “Flying with Chagall” (2009) – Inspired by Marc Chagall's Above the Town (1915)
  • “Blue Pear” (2009)
  • “Miracle” (2010)
  • “The Cheque Republic” (2010)
  • “Lizard” (2010) – Included in Valentine’s Day Massacre (2011), edited by Susan Tepper
  • “Sparrow” (2010) – Shortlisted in the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition Prize
  • “A Christmas Surprise” (2010)
  • “Monday” (2011)
  • “The Name” (2012)
  • “The Author and the Girl” (2013)
  • “Wanderlust” (2013) – Included in The Limerick Writers’ Centre themed Love anthology (2013), published in Ireland
  • “Waterfall” (Year?) – Inspired by Arshile Gorky's The Waterfall (1943)
  • “Exhibition” (Year?) – Included in Best European Fiction (2011), edited by Aleksander Hemon
  • “Gardening” (Year?)
  • “Mr. Boom Boom” (Year?)
  • “Tongues” (Year?)
  • One of her poems was included in New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan (2012), edited by Annie Evett.

    Many of her poems can be read online through her blog, and some can even be listened to on Lyrikline.


    Nora Nadjarian was among the winners in the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition in 2000 with her poem "Vinegar", and in 2003 with "Conception". Furthermore, she was awarded prizes at the Manifold Art and Artists Poetry Competition in 2003, at the Féile Filíochta International Poetry Competition in 2005 in Ireland and at the Poetry on the Lake competition also in 2005. Her short story “Ledra Street” was a runner-up in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition (2001). The poems "The Butcher" and "The Tenderness of Miniature Shampoo Bottles" were shortlisted in the Plough Arts Centre Poetry Competition (2003) and were displayed at the Centre in Devon, England, in January 2004. "And the Seven Dwarves" has been honoured in the Sixth Annual International Ultra-Short Competition (2008–2009), while "Tell Me Words" has been commended in the Ninth Annual International Ultra-Short Competition (2011–2012); events that are sponsored by The Binnacle at the University of Maine at Machias. Finally, “The Name” won in the unFold 2012 Poetry Garden Show competition.


  • Author Talk

  • References

    Nora Nadjarian Wikipedia