CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—On Sept. 21, an evening of poetry, titled “Poetry of Memory, an Evening in Solidarity with Armenia,” will feature readings by renowned Armenian writers Diana Der-Hovanessian, Peter Balakian, and Krikor Der Hohannesian.
The event is organized by the distinguished Nigerian poet and Professor of Philosophy at Wellesley College, Ifeanyi Menkiti, the owner of the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the oldest continuing poetry bookstore in the U.S. and a landmark for poets. The event will take place at the Cambridge Public Library (Main Branch), located at 449 Broadway in Cambridge, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Peter Balakian is the author of six books of poems, most recently Ozone Journal (2015) and Vise and Shadow, Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Art, and Culture, both just published by University of Chicago Press. The others are June-tree: Poems 1974-2000, Father Fisheye (1979), Sad Days of Light (1983), Reply From Wilderness Island (1988), and Dyer’s Thistle (1996). His work has appeared widely in American magazines and journals such as “The Nation,” “The New Republic,” “Antaeus,” “Partisan Review,” “Poetry,” and “The Kenyon Review,” and in anthologies such as New Directions in Prose and Poetry.
Balakian is the author of the memoir Black Dog of Fate, winner of the PEN/Albrand Prize for memoir and a New York Times Notable Book, and The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, winner of the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and a New York Times Notable Book and New York Times and national bestseller. His essays on poetry, culture, art, and social thought have appeared in many publications. He is Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor at Colgate University.
Diana Der-Hovanessian was twice a Fulbright Professor of American Poetry and is the author of more than 25 books of poetry and translations. She has awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, PEN/Columbia Translation Center, National Writers Union, Armenian Writers Union, Paterson Poetry Center, Prairie Schooner, American Scholar, and the Armenian Ministry of Culture. Her poems have appeared in “Agni,” “American Poetry Review,” “Ararat,” “CSM,” “Poetry,” “Partisan,” “Prairie Schooner,” and “Nation,” and in anthologies such as Against Forgetting, Women on War, On Prejudice, Finding Home, Leading Contemporary Poets, Orpheus and Company, Identity Lessons, Voices of Conscience, and Two Worlds Walking. Der-Hovanessian works as a visiting poet and guest lecturer on American poetry, Armenian poetry in translation, and the literature of human rights at various universities here and abroad. She serves as president of the New England Poetry Club.
Krikor Der Hohannesian had been writing for four decades when he decided five years ago to pull the dog-eared, cobwebbed sheaves off a closet shelf to begin exposing his poems to the light of day. Catharsis took place in shredding most of his work and beginning from scratch, helped in no small measure by the luxury of semi-retirement. Since then his poems have appeared in many journals and periodicals, including
“The South Carolina Review,” “The Evansville Review,” “Permafrost,” and “The New Renaissance.” He resides in Medford, and serves as assistant treasurer of the New England Poetry Club.