Silva Kaputikyan

Silva Kaputikyan

The largest Armenian poetess of the 20th century, writer and publicist, academician, winner of numerous international awards.
Date of Birth: 05.01.1919
Country: Armenia

  1. Biography of Silva Kaputikyan
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Career
  4. Political Activism and Literary Contributions
  5. Legacy

Biography of Silva Kaputikyan

Silva (Sirvard) Barunakova Kaputikyan was born on January 5, 1919, in Yerevan, Armenia. She was the most prominent Armenian poet of the 20th century, as well as a writer, journalist, academician, and recipient of numerous international awards.

Early Life and Education

Silva Kaputikyan was born into a family of a teacher and a former editor of a revolutionary newspaper, Barunak Kaputikyan, who was a refugee from the city of Van. She attended Yerevan State University, where she graduated from the Faculty of Philology in 1941. She then completed the Higher Courses of the Literary Institute.


Kaputikyan began her literary career in 1933 and became a member of the Writers' Union of Armenia in 1941. She joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1945 and received the Stalin Prize (State Prize of the USSR) in 1952. She was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, as well as the academies "Spiritual Unity of the Peoples of the World" and "Issues of Nature and Society."

Political Activism and Literary Contributions

Kaputikyan was a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and took an active stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. She authored numerous patriotic works and poems. In the early 1990s, she voiced sharp criticism against the Armenian authorities and their policies. After the suppression of opposition rallies in 2004, she returned the Order of Mesrop Mashtots, which she had received on her 80th birthday, to President Robert Kocharyan.


Silva Kaputikyan, the beloved poetess, passed away in Yerevan on August 26, 2006, at the age of 87. She was buried in the Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan. Kaputikyan was the wife of Armenian poet Hovhannes Shiraz and the mother of sculptor Ara Shiraz.

Kaputikyan authored more than 60 books in Armenian and Russian, some of which have been translated into many languages. Her poetry often addressed themes of love, female solitude, patriotism, and self-sacrifice. She was well-known for her close interaction with the Armenian diaspora, both in Armenia and abroad. Kaputikyan's works shed light on the main problems faced by the descendants of Armenian refugees, such as nostalgia, alienation, the decline of Western Armenian language, the struggle for self-preservation, the quest for identity, and efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Even during Soviet times, Kaputikyan spoke about the activities of Armenian militant organizations. In 1983, she wrote a poem about the execution of ASALA fighter Levon Ekmekjian, which was later translated into English.