Arpine Konyalian Grenier MFA'98



The Concession Stand: Exaptation at the Margins by Arpine Konyalian Grenier '98 (Otoliths, 2011)


Arpine is one of the few living American writers to whose works the term "profound" may be meaningfully affixed. She has as capacious a consciousness as any I have ever encountered: Science weds Philosophy and yields the Poetic and the Fictive (in Wallace Stevens' sense). Her mind is fertile like the garden and pond of Giverny. To fully appreciate her writings one must strive to emulate her genius for synthesizing the currents of a personal and intellectual history. We should not be surprised if we do not accomplish this overnight - although Dream is indeed another state of Being and Becoming: A Rainbow at Midnight, and A Dawn Eclipse.
-- Gerald Locklin, California State University Long Beach

In Armenian, we learn, the word for money is the mirror image - the antigram - of the word for human. In her focus on the word as the smallest unit of composition, Arpine Konyalian Grenier's essays and memoirs light the darkest corridors of history and disaster. That's her method. In practice, she provides a deft gloss on Fanon's notion of occult instability, locating it in language, more precisely in poetry, and always in music. Her wisdom comes not from the bookshelf, though she is the most learned essayist I know, but from life itself, or from cultural memory and its subtractions. Through her observations a longing absence ferociously prowls, growling like a lion.
-- Kevin Killian, Novelist, Poet, Playwright

Konyalian Grenier's The Concession Stand makes language take new turns. Her essays are poems, really. Her quest is to understand what it means to be human, in terms of poetry; she takes us along, thinking, listening, reading, laughing and seeing the world for what it is.
-- Jonathan Cohen, Stony Brook University

About the Author
Arpine Konyalian Grenier holds graduate degrees from the American University of Beirut and the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts, Bard College, New York. Her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in numerous publications.