Peter Balakian Reads with 13 Pulitzer Prize Poets, October 27


peter-balakian1-1NEW YORK — In a special celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes, The Poetry Society of America is a hosting a night of readings by 13 recipients of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Among the poets are John Ashbery, Yusef Koumanyaka, Sharon Olds, Stephen Dunn and Jorie Graham. The event will take place in the Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street at 7 p.m.

Balakian was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems Ozone Journal. The Pulitzer committee noted Ozone Journal for “poems that bear witness to the old losses and tragedies that undergird a global age of danger and uncertainty.” Keith Jones writing in Consequence Magazine wrote about Ozone Journal: “Balakian is a master of—the drifting, split-second mirage, the cinematic dissolve and cross-cut as well as the sculptural, statuesque moment chiseled out of consonant blends and an imagistic, jazzman’s ear for vowels. . . beautiful, haunting, plaintive, urgent, in our dying world’s age, these poems legislate a vital comportment to the demands of our shared present, timely and untimely both.”

And David Wojahn in Tikkun wrote: “Few American poets of the boomer generation have explored the interstices of public and personal history as deeply and urgently as has Balakian.” Balakian is the author of 7 books of poems and 4 books of prose and 2 collaborative translations. He is the first Armenian American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize since William Saroyan in 1940.

The Poetry Society of America describes the evening “as a once in a lifetime event.”

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