Peter Balakian wins Pulitzer Prize for Armenian Genocide poetry anthology
American Armenian Author Peter Balakian won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Ozone Journal, which is about the Armenian Genocide.
The winners and finalists were revealed Monday during a live-streamed broadcast from Columbia University in New York.
"The prize goes to Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian," announced Mike Pride, the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.
The title poem of Peter Balakian's Ozone Journal is a sequence of fifty-four short sections, each a poem in itself, recounting the speaker's memory of excavating the bones of Armenian genocide victims in the Syrian desert with a crew of television journalists in 2009. These memories spark others the dissolution of his marriage, his life as a young single parent in Manhattan in the nineties, visits and conversations with a cousin dying of AIDS creating a montage that has the feel of history as lived experience. Bookending this sequence are shorter lyrics that span times and locations, from Nairobi to the Native American villages of New Mexico. In the dynamic, sensual language of these poems, we are reminded that the history of atrocity, trauma, and forgetting is both global and ancient; but we are reminded, too, of the beauty and richness of culture and the resilience of love.
Ozone Journal creates inventive lyrical insight in a global age of danger and uncertainty.
Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University, in Madison County, New York. He is the author of seven books of poems and four prose works, including The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, a New York Times best seller, and Black Dog of Fate, a memoir, winner of the PEN/Albrand Prize.source: