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David Kherdian Papers

Identifier: 1996-0012

Scope and Content

The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence, lecture notes, financial and business records, publications, research notes, galley proofs, print proofs, photographs, and news clippings relating to the life and career of David Kherdian. Subjects discussed in the collection range from the University of Wisconsin, Two Rivers Press, and contemporary literary criticism to contemporary authors and their work. The collection contains correspondence with numerous authors, including Nona Balakian, Sandy Dorbin, Leo Hamilian, Toddy and Michael Smyth, George Young, Carl Mayfield, Karl Kopp, Karl Young, Aram Saroyan, James Henry, Nancy Elmo, Harold Bond, James Opic, Tim Belleau, Jan Lindberg, Chuck Hardy, Virgina and Edwin Hedge, Thomas Albro, Michael Kaiserlian, Charles Kamakian and many others. In addition to his work, the collection is comprised of materials that relate to Kherdian's professional life, his friendships and associations with Armenian and Armernian-American writers, acknowledgements of his work and various personal interests, and documents of his accomplishments.

The collection contains many of Kherdian's literary works, both published and unpublished, and includes materials associated with the production of his work. Some of the titles in the collection include, the Nation, Asking the River, Jim Bridger, The Animal, Letters to My Father revisions, Monkey, Root River Run, Forkroads, Ararat, Finding Home, I Remember Root River, Mystery of the Diamond in the Wood, Pigs Never See the Stars, and The Song in the Walnut Grove.

While the collection spans the years 1917 to 2013, the majority of the materials date from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s when Kherdian was most active in publishing.


  • 1917 - 2016

Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Renowned American poet and novelist, David Kherdian, has been published in over a dozen languages around the world. Born on Decembr 17, 1931 in Racine, Wisconsin, and having served in the U.S. Armyfrom 1952 to 1954. he worked a number of jobs throughout his literary career including salesman for the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, shoe salesman, book store owner, and writer and designer of theatre programs in California, in addition to holding various teaching positions. He received a bachelors degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin in 1960.

Kherdian published thirteen volumes of his acclaimed Root River Cycle, a collection of books consisting of poetry, memoirs, novels and novellas. As an editor he published several anthologies, including Down at the Santa Fe Depot: 20 Fresno Poets, Settling America: The Ethnic Expression of 14 Contemporary American Poets, Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic-American Literature. He has edited nine literary anthologies, and three literary journals during his more than forty year career, including Ararat, Forkroads, and Stopinder: A Gurdjieff Journal for Our Time. He founded three small presses, including The Giligia Press, Two Rivers Press, and The Press at Butternut Creek.

Kherdian is married to children's book illustrator and author, Nonny Hogrogian, who provided art direction for each of the journals, as well as the small presses, where their books are produced. During his career he was awarded numerous literary awards including The Boston Globe / Horn Book Award, a Newbery Honor Book Award, a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, a Jane Addams Peace Award, and a Banta Award, and has received a nomination for an American Book Award. He was also recipient of the 1994 Notable Wisconsin Authors Award, a lifetime achievement award.


74 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Materials related to the life and career of author David Kherdian. The collection is comprised of correspondence, notes, galley proofs, print proofs, and publications, and contains many of his published works. In addition to his literary work, the collection contains various materials related to his Armenian family and interests.


The papers are arranged as received from the author, with multiple accretions added as received by the archives.

Acquisition Information

The records were acquired from David Kherdian in installments, beginning in 1996 and continuing through 2006.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to iterature. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:


David Kherdian Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US