After a sweeping career as a poet, memoirist, Colgate University professor and
activist whose nonfiction centers on
the Armenian genocide, Peter Balakian
’73 was awarded one of literature’s
most prestigious prizes in April.
The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner,
Ozone Journal, published in 2015, is
Balakian’s seventh collection of poems.
Poet and critic David Wojahn, writing
in Tikkun magazine, pointed out that
“Few American poets of the [baby]
boomer generation have explored
the interstices of public and personal
history as deeply and urgently as
Balakian credits Bucknell, where
he studied under the legendary English
professor Jack Wheatcroft ’49, as
the birthplace of his life as a poet.
“It’s been an interesting journey, and
Lewisburg and Bucknell are dear to it,”
Balakian says. Balakian visited last fall
to honor and share his reflections on
Balakian is the second Bucknell
alumnus to win a Pulitzer. Philip Roth
’54 won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
for his novel American Pastoral in 1998.
Read one of the poems from Ozone
Journal at right.
Check out the Fall 2015 issue in the
Bucknell Magazine app for a feature
on Peter Balakian and the Winter 2016 issue for
remarks he made about Jack Wheatcroft ’49 at
a fall tribute event.
‘The Day is a Poem’
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry goes to Peter Balakian ’73.
By Paula Cogan Meyers and Sherri Kimmel
Nathan Wagner ’ 17 earned a Barry Goldwater Scholarship,
one of the most prestigious honors
conferred on undergraduates studying
the sciences, mathematics and engineering. Established by Congress in
honor of the longtime senator from
Arizona, Goldwater scholarships provide
up to $7,500 for sophomores and
juniors intending to pursue research
careers. Wagner hopes to earn a
Ph.D. in mathematics after Bucknell.
The Teagle Foundation awarded Bucknell, Franklin & Marshall
College and the University of Pennsylvania a $280,000 grant to support
integration of the liberal arts into
undergraduate business education.
Bucknell will use its $100,000 share
to develop educational modules at the
intersection of management and the
liberal arts, each comprising a week
of class material in a new course that
will begin in fall 2017.
Professor Jim Baish ’79, bio- medical engineering, will share in
a $2.9 million grant from the Heart,
Lung and Blood Institute of the National
Institutes of Health. Baish and his
co-researchers at Massachusetts
General Hospital and Harvard Medical
School will analyze how the lymphatic
system transports fluid through the
human body. Approximately $350,000
of the grant is dedicated to Baish and
his lab at Bucknell.
The day comes in strips of yellow glass
Then I tell you the day is a poem
I’m only talking to you and only the sky
The sky is listening; the sky is hopeful
as I am walking into the pomegranate seeds
of the wind that whips up the seawall.
If you want the poem to take on everything,
walk into a hackberry tree,
then walk out beyond the seawall.
I’m not far from a room where Van Gogh
was a patient—his head on a pillow hearing
the mistral careen off the seawall,
hearing the fauvist leaves pelt
the sarcophagi. Here and now
the air of the tepidarium kissed my jaw
and pigeons ghosting in the blue loved me
for a second, before the wind
broke branches and guttered into the river.
What questions can I ask you?
How will the sky answer the wind?
The dawn isn’t heartbreaking.
The world isn’t full of love.
— Peter Balakian
To hear Peter Balakian read “Here and
Now” on NPR, download the Bucknell
Magazine app or go to bucknell.edu/bmagazine.
HERE AND NOW
Peter Balakian ’73 teaches an advanced
workshop in English at Colgate.