Peter Balakian Wins Pulitzer for Poetry


imgres-2NEW YORK — Prof. Peter Balakian’s latest collection of poems, Ozone Journal, won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, it was announced on Monday, April 19.

The 64-year-old’s award-winning compilation contains “poems that bear witness to the old losses and tragedies that undergird a global age of danger and uncertainty,” according to the Pulitzer board.

Balakian often writes and speaks about the Armenian Genocide in his poems and non-fiction. Ozone Journal is no exception. The title poem takes readers through the narrator’s memories and pursuit of meaning in life while excavating the remains of Armenian Genocide survivors in the Syrian desert with a TV crew.

Balakian is Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University, where he has taught since 1980. He was the first Director of Colgate’s Center For Ethics and World Societies.

Born and raised in Teaneck and Tenafly, Balakian holds a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in American civilization from Brown University.

He is the director of creative writing at Colgate, and has taught at Colgate since 1980.

He is a prolific author among whose works of non-fiction, history as well as poetry, include Black Dog of Fate (1997), The Burning Tigris (2003), June Tree (2001) and Ziggurat (2010).