Член Союза литераторов России, Союза писателей Армении, Клуба писателей Кавказа. Официальный представитель «МФРП-IFRW» (Международной Федерации Русскоязычных Писателей – International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers) в Армении. Член правления общественной организации «Наш дом – Армения». Автор 5 книг. Участвовала в более 30 коллективных сборниках. Печаталась в толстых литературных журналах – «Отчий край», «Юность», «День и ночь», «Литературная Армения», «Ренессанс», «Меценат и Мир», «Муза», «Академия поэзии», «Русское поле», «Звезда Востока», «Венский литератор», «Иные берега», «Молодая гвардия», «Нор дар» («Новый век»), «Знамя», «Эмигрантской лире» и др., а также в «Литературной газете», «Интеллигент СПб», «Общеписательской литературной газете», «Литературной России», «Литературном Кавказе», «Литературном Крыме», «Литературном Амшене».
Стихотворения, рассказы и статьи Елены переведены на армянский, английский, немецкий, румынский, узбекский. Переводит с армянского.
Дипломант литературного конкурса им. Я. Корчака (Израиль, Иерусалим, 2006). Дважды лауреат Международного литературного конкурса «Мир без войны и насилия» (Польша, 2011, 2013). Лауреат журналистского конкурса «Мирное будущее Кавказа» (Россия, 2012).
Составитель сборников «Армянские мотивы. Армения в творчестве современных поэтов разных стран» и билингвы «Буквы на камнях» (вместе с В. Чембарцевой, Г. Гиланцем и Д. Матевосяном).
Главный редактор журнала «Армения Туристическая» и корреспондент ереванской газеты «Новое время».
Увлекается альпинизмом и скалолазанием. Член Армянской Федерации альпинизма и горного туризма и альпклуба «White Irbis».
Yelena Shuvayeva-Petrosyan was born in Bolshoy Morets village, Volgograd region. She got her education in Moscow and Yerevan, after she lived in Great Britain for some period. Yelena has been living in Yerevan, Armenia for more than ten years now.
Yelena is a member of the Commonwealth of Writers of Russia, member of the Writers’ Union of Armenia, member of the Writers’ Club of Caucasus. She is the official representative of “IFRW” (International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers) in Armenia. Yelena is a board member in NGO “Our home is Armenia”. She has authored five books and has participated in more than 30 collections. Her works have been published in fat literary magazines such as “Otchiy kray”, “Yunost”, “Den i noch”, “Literaturnya Armenia”, “Renaissance”, “Benefactor and World”, “Muse”, “Academy of poetry”, “Russkoe pole”, “Zvezda Vostoka”, “Wiener Literat”, “InyeBerega”, “MolodayaGvardiya”, “Nor dar” (“New century”), “Znamya”, “Emigrantskaya lira”, as well as in “Literaturnayagazeta”, “Intelligent SPB”, “Obshepisatelskaya literaturnaya gazeta”, “Literaturnaya Rossia”, “Literaturny Kavkaz”, “Literaturny Krym”, “Literaturny Amshen”, etc.
Yelena’s poems, stories and articles have been translated into Armenian, English, German, Romanian and Uzbek. She also translates from Armenian.
Yelena was the award winner of the literary contest after Ya. Korchak (Jerusalem, Israel, 2006). She was twice awarded at International Literary Competition “The world without war and violence” (Poland, 2011, 2013) and was the award winner of journalism competition “Peaceful future of South Caucasus” (Russia, 2012).
Yelena is a collector of “Armenian motives: Armenia in the works of modern poets of different countries” and the bilingual “Letters on stones” (in association with V. Chembartseva, G. Gilants and D. Matevosyan).
Currently Yelena is the editor-in-chief of “Armenia Turisticheskaya” magazine and correspondent at Yerevan magazine “NovoeVremya”.
Yelena is passionate about alpinism and rock climbing. She is a member of Armenian Mountaineering and Hiking Federation and alpinism club “WhiteIrbis”.
Only in my native village, which once seemed so big to me, I noticed how much my kids have grown up. The house has become smaller. The streets have become narrower. The steppes have gained edges. And kids, my little kids have grown up. They are sitting on a bench with their friends, laughing and chitchatting. I look at them from afar and do not recognize them. It was me, sitting there not so long ago… And now, standing there, it seems to me that I’m looking at myself from the side…
Russian village. There is everything there: black soil, sand, steppes, mounds, winds. My feet remember this land very well. It was scorching hot and cold. It was cold on the surface and hot under, when the ground kept the heat from the day before. This land was burning in my heart. Recently I ran barefoot on the hot asphalt of Yerevan. The sight, of course, was awesome – a well-dressed woman running barefoot for some reason. Who was she running from? Why was she running? Armenians are very caring people, so they need to know everything. Meanwhile, I could not stop running: the asphalt was too hot in Yerevan! One of my sandals was torn. I decided to take off my shoes and run the way I used to as a child. Especially that I lived near the House of the Press. Apparently I overreacted since I did not get any burns, but the feeling itself was not so pleasant. Moreover, there was so much excitement in the street. Every morning when I dance pagan dances barefoot in the old garden I remember the hot asphalt in Yerevan.
The world of my childhood was filled with superstitions, omens and village magic in every sense of the word, though as Brodsky once said, “God lives in each house here”. The village teaches us to see the world differently. For example, you stand on the threshold of the house at night and the first thing you do is to look at the sky: when the new moon lies on the horn it is thought that the next day will be rainy, a foggy ring around the moon is a sign of severe cold. And in the morning you look at the sun: if the sun rises in the mist, the day will be sultry, if it’s burning strongly, it will most certainly rain in the evening. I was either an independent, or a very lonely child – I was with everyone and alone at the same time. I loved to sit and chitchat with women. That is where I got the “people’s” knowledge. I did not even suspect that that knowledge would be so deep in me that would come out whenever necessary. I never go into the woods without saying spells against snakes and ticks. In the morning, I wash off the bad dreams. My grandmother was not a reputed sorcerer, but she used to cast healing spells on all of her grandchildren. Sometimes, there would be a sty on eye – Baba Masha would whisper something then spit into the eye, and in the evening, the sty would disappear. Her whisper still sounds in my ears. My other grandmother “healed” the fears people had. I kept asking her “to heal” my fears, but she would always send me away. I would get so scared of the dark corners, wiggling curtains and large spaces. The world was so huge, and I was so little. If I heard a child cry “ma-ah-ah-ma” from a distance, it seemed to me that the child was lost in the world and his cry was heard throughout the universe and not in the outskirts of our village… Until now, I am afraid to sleep alone in a dark room. Apparently, I have to deal with this problem by myself…
The sky show with a star shower stopped unexpectedly. The dawn blushed shyly, as if the darkness that suddenly waned, had exposed something sanctuary, something intimate.
That morning, the first morning after my return to my homeland, I did not want to sleep. I was burning with the desire to run through the morning dew, that would cool my feet until my bones would ache, get stuck in the soft resting arable land, which kept the heat of yesterday’s sun, and then again to dive into the dewy grass to wash the dirt off my feet…
The village was still asleep. Only somewhere, in the outskirts of the village, the oldest of roosters was making sounds and a dog was barking. Holding my skirt up, I ran into my grandmother’s old garden that smoothly transformed into a plantation, then a melon field, then meadows for mowing and rested on the banks of the river, where my Dad had planted cherries. I do not remember for how long my madness lasted, but having run more than enough, I fell on the grass under a young cherry-tree, covered with drops of blood, and dangling its heavy branches above me. And there it was, the wonder of wonders! The sky spun in front of me, and then as if it opened and froze. For a moment, there was a deafening silence. And suddenly a cherry fell from the sky and plopped loudly into the peaceful water. Then the second one, the third one, and so on … I was wondering why I didn’t know before, when I used to live in the village, that the season of star shower coincided with the cherries falling off the trees?!! And then I felt I was going to miss this moment for one whole year when I would be in the city and would like to catch it again.
The house… The old house of my grandmother… It is a holy place, as only here I feel the inseparable connection with my family. A framed door. An old bed. An old cupboard. An icon with a bright face darkened in the course of time. Powerful oak floorboards. A ceiling blackened by fire forty years ago. The ceiling hook that once was holding a cradle. My grandmother had fourteen children. The house has a special smell that I remember since I was born and that my entire childhood was drenched in. Coming home, the first thing I do is going to the Old House to greet it. I come here whenever I am confused or need to make an important decision.
I was sitting on a bench in the forestry waiting for my aunt. A guy was walking up and down. Actually, he was not a guy, but an adult man. He did not greet me though kept staring at me. Finally, he asked:
– Who are you?
I did not introduce myself. Instead, I said:
– Kolya, I am your brother’s classmate.
He was surprised. He asked my name. I answered:
– It’s Yelena.
He looked at me suspiciously. He was curious:
– Are you the Yelena that writes stories?
– Yes, – I answered.
The guy wasn’t feeling comfortable. He left, saying that he had a lot to do.
Kolya did not want to become the hero of my story.