Shaunt Basmajian

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Shaunt Basmajian (30 September 1950 – 25 January 1990) was a Canadian poet and author.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon to Armenian parents, Basmajian emigrated to Canada when he was seven years old. He was a founder of the Canadian Poetry Association, co-founder of Old Nun Publications (with Ted Plantos), and was a member of the Parliament Street Library poetry group.[1] The Shaunt Basmajian Chapbook Award, given annually to a Canadian poet, was established in his memory. The contest ran from 1996–2008.

In 1986, he was attacked with a knife and robbed while he was driving a taxi. His right lung was punctured when a robber stabbed him.[2]

Sample poem[edit]

"I read the paper / and stay awake all night / writing poems / trying to forget everything / dreaming of a new world / a solution / an answer / in the aftermath"

—Shaunt Basmajian, excerpt from "On That Other Day in the Life of Arto Sarkissian," Poets Who Don't Dance, 1985.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Surplus Waste and Other Poems – 1982
  • Poets Who Don't Dance – 1985[3]
  • Biased Analogies – 1988

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shaunt Basmajian won acclaim as poet". The Toronto Star. 29 January 1990. pp. A.16. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Thomas, Jocko (19 September 1986). "Cab driver's lung punctured in $80 Scarborough holdup". The Toronto Star. p. A.8. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  3. ^ McAllister, Lesley (27 December 1986). "Heading straight for the heart of it (Review of Poets Who Don't Dance )". The Toronto Star. p. G.19. Retrieved 1 December 2009.