Nancy Agabian

Previous Workshops


College Writing Workshops

My most recent academic cv can be found here: Nancy Agabian CV Fall 2017

Community Workshops

“Senior Writing”: Newtown Italian Senior Center, Elmhurst, Queens: February – June 2017

SuCasa Transitions flyer 3




June 2017 745

June 2017 1175

June 2017 1062







Physical Translating

July 10, July 17, July 24, 2010

The Women’s Resource Center, Zarubyan 34

Yerevan, Armenia

A body-based creative writing workshop for women, taking place in conjunction with Queering Translation, the WOW (Women-Oriented Women) Collective’s 3rd annual art intervention July 31-August 1, 2010. In three Saturday morning three-hour sessions, workshop participants collaborated to write prose (fiction and/or nonfiction, in English, Armenian, and/or other languages) about physical experiences — in illness, disconnection, pain, joy, experimentation, athleticism, sexuality, reproduction and otherwise. To stimulate discussion and prompt writing exercises, we read and analyzed short texts (in English and Armenian) by a range of contemporary multicultural women writers (including Margaret Atwood, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Audre Lorde, Staceyann Chin), including Armenian writers (selected from the anthologies Deviation, Matnashoonch and Der Hovanessian’s The Other Voice). Creative movement/performance exercises were incorporated to inspire writing. The series culminated in a reading of new work during WOW’s weekend art intervention. The workshop was open to all women, regardless of national origin, age, class, physical ability, and sexual orientation.   Reports on each session can be found on the Queering Yerevan blog, here, here and here.

Our Side: A Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop on Cultural Identity

June 6 — August 15, 2009

Participants’ reading: Sunday, August 16

Topaz Arts

55-03 39th Avenue

Woodside, NY 11377

Our Side was a workshop for writers of all levels to write in English about the worlds they live in, past and present. For the first five weeks, we read work by Amy Tan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, and others; then we discussed the issues these writers addressed on emigration, dislocation from homeland, assimilation to a new land, maintenance of cultural identity, and trans-nationalism. These discussions prompted writing exercises for us to explore our own experiences with migration and views of cultural identity. For the following four weeks, we read to the group our writing to receive feedback and help polish it into memoirs or personal essays. During the last meeting, we prepared for a reading of our work. Applicants had to be immigrants or have a parent who is an immigrant. They had connections (familial, national, intellectual, or spiritual, etc.) to a place outside of the U.S. that they would like to write about.  Our Side was made possible, in part, by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Poets & Writers.

Reading after party

 The workshop later produced a chapbook of work entitled “A Home Calls My Name” designed and edited by Beatriz Gil.

Publication reading:Monday, November 2, 2009

 LaGuardia Community College Performing Arts Center

Little Theater

 31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City Queens, NY 11101


Women’s creative nonfiction project

May 15 through July 5, 2007

Sponsored by Utopiana and CEC Artslink

Workshop held at Women’s Resource Center, 24 Tumanian

This workshop provided a safe, supportive forum for women to write about their personal experiences in the forms of personal essays, narratives and memoirs. Basic facility with reading English ws required (for reading examples of contemporary creative nonfiction at home). Participants discussed these readings together and did related writing exercises during the sessions. Participants wrote in English, Armenian, French, Turkish and Russian. After four weeks, participants engaged in feedback sessions, commenting productively on each other’s writing in order to help develop it for publication. A translator was present at every session to help connect those who had less fluency in English or Armenian.

 Various topics explored: childhood memories and identity, family dynamics, issues of the body and sexuality, women and work, the personal as political, etc. One goal of the workshop was to collaboratively shape a nonjudgmental environment that allowed women to be creative in voicing, through writing and discussion, their varied experiences. The other goal was to produce writing by and about Armenian women that breaks silences on taboos that have prevented wider dialogue, discussion and thought in Armenian society. The readings, from contemporary female authors of various backgrounds and nationalities, helped provide examples and inspiration. Sample of authors read: Marjane Satrapi, Audre Lorde, Shushanik Kurghinian, Zabel Essayan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jamaica Kincaid, Jessica Hagedorn, Jhumpa Lahiri, and others.The project included thirteen participants of varied writing experience.

A manuscript of workshop texts, Matnashunch was published in English and Armenian. The book was presented at a public event and reading at The Club on July 27, 2007.  Along with introducing this dynamic book, the reading gives the public the opportunity to glimpse Armenian women’s lives and creativity at a time when their roles are changing but their voices aren’t often heard. Participants included Lusine Talalyan (Davtyan), Byurakn Ishkhanyan, Gohar Khachatryan, Naira Pirumyan, Talin Suciyan, Nushik Smbatyan, Laura Tashjian, and Meri Yeranosyan.

 Writing & Performing & Telling the Truth Workshops for Women and Men

Beyond Baroque Literary Art Center, 1994-1999