Photo by Mark DiOrio / Colgate University Portrait of Peter Balakian, Mar. 13, 2017 in Hamilton, N.Y.

Peter Balakian and Susan Barba to Participate in Grolier Book Shop Fundraiser


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Writers Peter Balakian and Susan Barba will partake in a program on January 25 as part of a series of fund raisers for the Grolier Book Shop, which has been a cornerstone of Boston literary culture since 1917.

The program will take place at 7 p.m. in the Mount Vernon Ballroom at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Harvard Square.

Balakian and Barba will read from their works with conversation to follow. A light menu will be included with the ticket and there will be a cash bar.

Balakian, who is a Grolier Board member, is the author of seven books of poems most recently Ozone Journal which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, as well as the memoir Black Dog of Fate and The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. His books have been translated into more than dozen languages. He is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities in the Department of English at Colgate University.

Susan Barba

Barba is senior editor for the New York Review Books and the author of Fair Sun, which won the 2017 Anahid Literary Prize from Columbia University’s Armenian Center. Her poems have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Poetry, the Hudson Review, Yale Review and other places and her translations from the Armenian have appeared in Ararat and Words Without Borders.

Balakian and Barba write: “We will read from our work and reflect on poetry and its relationship to trauma, collective memory and the poem’s engagement with history.

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“For us, as for so many poets, the Grolier has been a vital location, and it has been for the past ninety years, a temple to poetry and the most historically important bookstore of its kind. Because poetry is the cutting edge of language and a singular force in probing human experience, the Grolier remains essential to American life. Please come out and support the Grolier and its future.”

Both the Grolier and the Sheraton Commander, founded by the Guleserian family in 1927, have been important Cambridge institutions that have preserved the history and culture of Harvard Square. Michael Guleserian, the general manager, has been generous in his support of the evening.

For further information contact Francine LaChance, consultant for the Grolier Foundation and Forums Trust. Donations can be made to the Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust in lieu of attendance — include “Balakian Barba reading” in your contribution.

The event is a fundraiser and tickets can be purchased online at

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