New York — The Anahid Literary Award has been given to Susan Barba for her book of poems, Fair Sun. The prize is given to the best literary work in English by a young writer of Armenian descent, and is awarded by the Columbia Armenian Center and made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor.
Barba was born in New Jersey and educated at Dartmouth College. She earned an MFA from Boston University, and a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University. Her first book of poems, Fair Sun, was published in 2017 by David R. Godine Publishers. She is also a co-editor of I Want to Live: Poems of Shushanik Kurghinian (2005). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review, The Yale Review, Antioch Review, Raritan and other journals, and her translations from Armenian have appeared in Words Without Borders and Ararat. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and she is a senior editor for New York Review Books.
The award was founded in 1988 by an anonymous donor who wanted to encourage young writers of Armenian descent and who believed in the importance of literature for the wider culture. Previous recipients of the award include Laura Kalpakian, Eric Bogosian, Atom Egoyan, Diana Der Hovanessian, Michael Zadoorian and Lydia Peele among others.
Award committee members, comprised of previous winners, are Peter Balakian, Aris Janigian, Patricia Sarafian Ward, and Micheline Marcom. The Armenian Center at Columbia will announce an evening prize ceremony sometime in the spring of 2019.