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The Armenian Genocide is back in the news as part of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Ozone Journal is a collection of poems published last year by University of Chicago Press and was written by Peter Balakian, the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University.
The Pulitzer Committee stated, “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 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.
You can watch a YouTube video from 2010: A Documentary by CBS about the 1st Genocide of the 20th Century – the Armenian Genocide by the Turks and a visit to the mass grave in Deir Zor
Peter Balakian is the author of seven books of poems, most recently of Ziggurat and June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974–2000. He is also the author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, a New York Times best seller, andBlack Dog of Fate, a memoir. A new collection of essays, Vise and Shadow, is also available this spring from the University of Chicago Press.
This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzers.
Look for his Pulitzer Award winning book on the OCN Bookstore
Sources: colgate.edu, pulitzer.org
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