June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974-2000
For three decades, Peter Balakian's poetry has been praised widely in the United States and abroad. Writing in the Boston Globe, Marcie Hershman called Sad Days of Light "a piercingly elegant volume," and John Naughton in World Literature Today praised Dyer's Thistle as "a remarkable and profoundly visionary work." Now the poet whom James Dickey called "an extraordinary talent" gives us June-tree: New and Selected Poems 1974-2000, a discriminating selection from his first four books, with a group of startling new poems.
In book after book, Balakian has created a unique voice in American poetry -- one that is both personal and cosmopolitan. In sensuous, elliptical language, Balakian offers a textured poetry that is beautiful and haunting as it envelops an American grain, the reverberations of the Armenian Genocide, and the wired, discordant realities of contemporary life.
In his explorations of history, Balakian often deals with the transmission of trauma across generations in ways that bring daily American life into play with the dark frequencies of the past. The evolution of Balakian's form from volume to volume encompasses an expansive imagination, one always able to engage reality in its starkness, difficulty, and moments of revelation. June-tree is a stunning body of work by an original poet.
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