So I Will Till the Ground

So I Will Till the Ground Book Cover

Gregory Djanikian


Carnegie Mellon

“The memory of [the Armenian genocide] resonated in Gregory Djanikian’s family—for this book is transparently a memoir in verse—and his portrayal of it in the first part of the book makes for tough reading, in no small measure because of the understated, pastoral tone he often employs to detail atrocity…More surprising is how a collection that begins so gut-wrenchingly can segue so smoothly into something so celebratory…And, despite the graphic depiction of the evil that men can do, it manages somehow to give your faith in humanity a palpable boost.” — Frank Wilson, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“This is a book about collective memory and cultural haunting, about wounds and responsibilities. Most of all, So I Will Till the Ground is the memorable testimony of one man’s struggle to take joy in the present and believe in the future when the past inspires nothing but distrust, fear, and rage. [It is] a book of unequivocal necessity and chilling truthfulness to history and memory, a luminously crafted, dark incantation.” — Mihaela Moscaliuc, Pleiades

“Gregory Djanikian has written a volume of poetry not just to commemorate the horrors of his people, but to show us its culture and provide hope for its preservation. So I Will Till the Ground isn’t just important poetry, it is great poetry. It illuminates Armenian culture and the lives of all kinds of immigrants in American society. This is a volume you should read. It is a volume you’ll be glad to read.” — Alan Jalowitz, WPSU radio