By Way of an Introduction

Locomotive is the first and only high caliber Anglophone literary journal that is edited, published, and exported from Armenia, a small post-Soviet republic in the Caucasus. Its purpose is to showcase innovative writing from established and emerging glob- al voices and eventually connect those voices with the vibrant but isolated literary community in Armenia. In that way, Locomotive has a clear and unique mission.

Buttressing that mission is the newly founded Center for Creative Writing (CCW) at the American University of Armenia. The CCW brings together Armenian and non-Armenian writers, students, and scholars under one roof. It is the only such hub of creative writing and literary studies, not just in Armenia but in the Caucasus and Russia as a whole. Locomotive is one of the center’s major projects.

Armenia, like other small, developing countries, walks a tightrope on a daily basis, teetering between apathy and hope, enthusiasm and cynicism, future and past. There is much possibility and positivity, but also a tremendous amount blocking the way.

Locomotive is a dent in that obstacle.

The power of poetry, of language—much trivialized and co-opted by neoliberalism and suffocated by rigid Putinism—is alive and well in Armenia, as it is around the world, in all the seemingly forgotten villages and cities that are exhausted from decades of unjust policies and unchecked oligarchies, where the voices of citizens are squeezed by internal and external greed and short- sightedness.

Like other ancient cultures, Armenia’s literary tradition goes back many centuries. But because of its isolation, serious financial hardships, and other factors, contemporary Armenian literary output has suffered. But it has not vanished. On the contrary, a new generation of writers, however few, are producing works of tenderness, brutal beauty, and social importance.

It is time for them to be heard. It is time for all poets and writers in oppressed and struggling societies...

Locomotive is woke with you.