CAMBRIDGE, Mass—As part of a series of fundraisers for the Grolier Book Shop, which has been a cornerstone of Boston literary culture since 1927, Peter Balakian and Susan Barba will be reading and discussing their works in the Mount Vernon Ballroom at the Sheraton Commander Hotel on January 25 at 7 p.m.
Balakian, who is a Grolier board member, is the author of seven books of poems, most recently Ozone Journal, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, as well as the memoir Black Dog of Fate and The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He is a Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities in the English department at Colgate University.
Susan Barba is senior editor for New York Review Books and the author of Fair Sun, which won the 2017 Anahid Literary Prize from Columbia University’s Armenian Center. Her poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Poetry, The Hudson Review and Yale Review and her translations from the Armenian language have appeared in Ararat and Words Without Borders.
“We will read from our work and reflect on poetry and its relationship to trauma, collective memory and the poem’s engagement with history,” wrote Balakian and Barba. “For us, as for so many poets, the Grolier has been a vital location, and it has been for the past ninety years, a temple to poetry and the most historically important bookstore of its kind. Because poetry is the cutting edge of language and a singular force in probing human experience, the Grolier remains essential to American life.”
Both the Grolier and The Sheraton Commander, which was founded by the Guleserian family, were established in 1927 and have been important Cambridge institutions that have preserved the history and culture of Harvard Square. General Manager Michael Guleserian has been generous in his support of the evening.
For further information, please reach out to Francine LaChance, consultant for the Grolier Foundation and Forums Trust. Donations can be made to the Grolier Poetry Foundation and Forums Trust in lieu of attendance. Please note “Balakian Barba reading” in your contribution. Tickets can also be purchased online. A light menu will be included with the ticket; there will also be a cash bar.