Peter Balakian, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet

Peter Balakian, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet

“I think poems also are our most intense confronters of the harsh realities.”

Who he is

Peter Balakian is a renowned author, poet, academic and public intellectual. He has written several highly-acclaimed books of poetry, as well as a memoir about the Armenian Genocide. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for his latest book of poetry, “Ozone Journal.” 

Balakian was born in the United States in New Jersey. After pursuing his education, which culminated in a doctoral degree from Brown University, he began teaching at Colgate University, where he has worked for over 35 years. 

The publication of “The Burning Tigris,” “Black Dog of Fate” and “Armenian Golgotha” became landmark Armenia-themed books in the English-speaking world written by a high-profile author. His book of poetry, which won him the Pulitzer Prize, is also inspired by his Armenian identity, as he writes about many stories initiated by the experience of digging in the desert for the bones of perished martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. 

In addition to his Pulitzer, Balakian has received several literary and other awards and acknowledgments for his work.

Interesting fact

His book “Armenian Golgotha” is actually his translation of his great-uncle Grigoris Balakian’s account of the Armenian Genocide. 

Learn more about him

Peter Balakian Homepage

Peter Balakian on Charlie Rose Show

Peter Balakian - Poetry Foundation

Peter Balakian - The Pulitzer Prizes