Peter Balakian (Armenian: Փիթըր Պալաքեան, born June 13, 1951) is an Armenian American poet, writer and academic, the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of Humanities at Colgate University. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2016.
Peter Balakian is the author of seven books of poems most recently Ozone Journal, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, as well as Ziggurat (2010) and June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974-2000 (2001). His four books of prose include The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response (2004), won the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book and a New York Times Best Seller. His memoir, Black Dog of Fate won the 1998 PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir, and was a best book of the year for the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly, and was recently issued in a 10th anniversary edition. He is co-translator of Girgoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1918, (Knopf, 2009), which was a Washington Post book of the year.
He is also the author of a book on the American poet Theodore Roethke and the co translator of the Armenian poet Siamanto’s Bloody News From My Friend. Between 1976-1996 he edited with Bruce Smith the poetry journal Graham House Review. His prose and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Salon, The Daily Beast, Tikkun, The Guardian, LA Times, Art In America, and others.
He is the recipient of many awards and prizes including the Presidential Medal and the Moves Khoranatsi Medal from the Republic of Armenia, The Spendlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance, and Diplomacy (recipients include President Carter), a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Emily Clark Balch Prize for poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review. He has appeared widely on national television and radio( 60 Minutes, ABC World News Tonight, PBS, Charlie Rose, Fresh Air, etc) , and his work have appeared in a many languages including Armenian, Bulgarian, French, Dutch, Greek, German, Hebrew, Russian, and Turkish. He is Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University.
- Ozone Journal (poems, University of Chicago Press, 2015)
- Vise and Shadow Essays on the lyric imagination, poetry, art and culture (poems, University of Chicago Press, 2015)
- Ziggurat (poems, University of Chicago Press, 2010)
- Armenian Golgotha, a memoir of the Armenian Genocide by Grigoris Balakian, translator with Aris Sevag, (Knopf, 2009)
- The Burning Tigris; The Armenian Genocide and America's Response (HarperCollins, 2003)
- June-tree: New and Selected Poems 1974-2000 (HarperCollins, 2001)
- Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir (Basic Books, 1997; 10th anniversary edition, 2009)
- Dyer's Thistle (poems, Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 1996)
- Bloody News From My Friend by Siamanto (translation, Wayne State Univ. Press, 1996)
- Theodore Roethke's Far Fields (Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1989)
- Reply From Wilderness Island (poems, Sheep Meadow Press, 1988)
- Sad Days of Light (poems, Sheep Meadow Press, 1983)
- Father Fisheye (poems, Sheep Meadow Press, 1979)
- Editor, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (Wayne State Univ. Press, 2003)
- Poetry and essays in The Nation, Art in America, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Partisan Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, etc.
- Editor with Bruce Smith, Graham House Review, a journal of contemporary poetry, 1976-1996.
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 2016 for Ozone Journal. (Announcement)
- Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance, 2012 (News Item)
- PBS Newshour's Poem of the week, September 7, 2010
- Emily Clark Balch Prize for poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, 2007
- Movses Khorenatsi Medal, Republic of Armenia, 2007
- Raphael Lemkin Prize, 2005 (The Burning Tigris)
- National Endowment for the Arts fellowship 2004-05
- Guggenheim fellowship 1999-2000
- PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for Memoir, 1998 (Black Dog of Fate)
- New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book Prize, 1998 (Black Dog of Fate)
- Anahit Literary Prize, Columbia University, 1990
- New York Times and Los Angeles Times notable books of 1997 (Black Dog of Fate)
- New York Times and Publishers Weekly notable books of 2003 (The Burning Tigris)
- Washington Post Notable Books of 2009 (Armenian Golgotha)