The World of Archie Minasian

At PlaylandKhatchik Minasian, better known as Archie, may have been less famous than his cousin, William Saroyan, but he was no less impressive in the breadth of talent. A house painter by trade, Archie was a talented watercolorist, playwright, and an exceptionally good poet. His poetry ranges from highly-structured haiku to looser, naturalistic forms that express both emotion and temporality with little adornment. His work was featured in publications such as Hairenik Weekly, The Armenian Review, Ararat, and Lines. He also published several volumes of poetry, including the widely-praised The Simple Songs of Khatchik Minasian.

Peter King of the San Francisco Examiner once said of Archie’s poetry, “It’s a dominating, captivating voice. A rich voice that rolls melodically between thunderous roars and conspiratorial growls. Above all, it’s the proud voice of a man unafraid of speaking his mind.”

He wrote throughout his life, up until his death in 1985, outliving his cousin by more than four years. He wrote a particularly impressive poem at the time of Saroyan’s death in 1981

Farewell to Willie

The birds are in his trees
among the leaves
feeding on the early plum and peach

Soon they will be off
In the morning sky
And he will be with them.

Originally printed by Ararat magazine (vol. XXVII, No. 3) and reprinted by Forever Saroyan with the permission of the Minasian family in 2020, we are pleased to offer the screen-readable version. You can click here to download a PDF onto your hard drive for off-line enjoyment. 

The World of Archie Minasian


Chris Garcia - Archivist, Forever Saroyan, November 16, 2021, San Jose, CA. 

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