John Balaban

Cindy Seip

John Balaban is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including four volumes which together have won The Academy of American Poets’ Lamont prize, a National Poetry Series Selection, and two nominations for the National Book Award. His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems won the 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. He was named the 2001-2004 National Artist for the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. In 2003, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2008, he was awarded a medal from the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture for his work in translation and digital preservation of ancient texts. In 2017, he received the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from the Associated Writing Programs. In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, he is a translator of Vietnamese poetry, and a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. His new book of poetry, Empires (Quail Ridge Books) is about tremors in history as imperial eras come to their ends, those interludes when the understood order of things has changed. The poems move through time, around the world, and across the U.S.A.