Leonardo Alishan (Tehran, 1951- Salt Lake City, 2005) manifested in his poetry a strong sense of opposing powers at work: at one extreme there is an unquenchable thirst for love and life and, at the other, a self-destructive attraction to the pains of the past. It seems as if the lightness of being promised by the New World is always overwhelmed by the historical burden and cultural baggage that the émigré brings with him.
Stylistically, Alishan’s poetic sensibility is perhaps more Persian than anything else. Thematically, aspects of his Armenian identity often overwhelm other issues and themes. Finally, the expression is English where an acute awareness of Western poetic traditions is also felt.