In Person: John Balaban appearing at Milkweed Books

Milkweed Books
1011 S Washington Avenue
Suite 107
Minneapolis, MN 55415
United States



Join us as Milkweed Books welcomes poet John Balaban for a reading from his newest book Passing Through a Gate, an essential collection of his prize-winning poems in one place, threaded through with essays that link poetry to Balaban’s extensive travels, whether hitchhiking throughout the United States or wandering the countryside of Vietnam during wartime to record and translate folk poetry. John will read and be joined in conversation by local author Michael Bazzett, followed by time for audience questions and a book signing.

Enjoy a social hour in our brick-and-mortar indie bookstore Milkweed Books beginning at 6 p.m., followed by the reading and conversation beginning at 7 p.m.



John Balaban is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including four volumes which together have won The Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin Award, a National Poetry Series selection, and two nominations for the National Book Award. His book Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems won the 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 2003, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2005, he was a judge for the National Book Awards. Balaban served as a conscientious objector during the war in Vietnam. 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. In 1999, with two Vietnamese friends, he founded the Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation ( In 2008, he was awarded a medal from Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture for his poetry translations and his leadership in the restoration of the ancient text collection at the National Library.

Michael Bazzett is the author of You Must Remember This, which received the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, The Interrogation, and most recently The Echo Chamber. He is also the translator of The Popol Vuh, the first English verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, which was named one a New York Times Best Book of 2018. He is also the author of the chapbook Imaginary City (OW! Arts). His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Ploughshares, The Sun, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, and Best New Poets. A longtime faculty member at The Blake School, Bazzett has received the Bechtel Prize from Teachers & Writers Collaborative and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. He lives in Minneapolis.