Peter Balakian will discuss how and why the Armenian Genocide became a template for genocide committed in a modern modality and why it is a landmark event in the history of modern mass violence.
Peter Balakian is the author of seven books of poems, four books of prose, and two translations.
Ozone Journal, his most recent poetry collection, won the 2016 Pultizer Prize. Vice and Shadow: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art, and Culture was published in 2016. Balakian’s highly acclaimed memoir Black Dog of Fate (1997) received the PEN/Albrand Prize for memoir and was a New York Times Notable Book. The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response received the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times and National Bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book. He is also the author of Theodore Roethke’s Far Fields (1989). His translation with Aris Sevag of Grigoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide was a Washington Post book of the year.
In 2016, the Republic of Armenia awarded Balakian with the 2016 Presidential Medal and, in 2007 the Movses Khorenatsi Medal. Other prizes and awards and civic citations include a Guggenheim Fellowship; National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship; Virginia Quarterly Review; PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for Memoir; the Raphael Lemkin Prize for the best book in English on the subject of genocide and human rights; and the Spendlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance, and Diplomacy. His work has been translated into a dozen languages and foreign editions including Armenian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, French, Greek, Hebrew, Russian, and Turkish.
Balakian was born in Teaneck, New Jersey. He attended Tenafly public schools and graduated from Englewood School for Boys (now Dwight-Englewood School) before earning his B.A. from Bucknell University, an M.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Brown University in American Civilization. He has taught at Colgate University since