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John Balaban

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Award-winning author John Balaban discusses his books Empires, Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems and more at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at the Allen Public Library.

John Balaban is the author of twelve 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 garnered the prestigious 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.  In 2005, he was a judge for the National Book Awards. His latest book of poetry, Empires, from Copper Canyon Press was published in 2019.

In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, John Balaban is the most prominent translator of Vietnamese in the United States.  During and after years as a relief worker in Vietnam, he has focused on the nearly extinct ideographic script, Nôm, His book Spring Essence, was the first translation of Nôm ever printed as type. In the past twenty-five years, John has saved that script from extinction.  Ancient Nôm writing has now been digitized and stored in the national museum in Hanoi.

Dr. Eileen Tollett declares, “His poem "For the Missing in Action" makes me cry every time I read it, though I have probably read it a hundred times. His poetry is not flowery or sentimental; it is to the point, which makes it more touching than any other I encounter.”

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  Call 214-509-4911 for additional information. 

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