In Conversation with Carolyn Forche
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950, poet, teacher and activist Carolyn Forché has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history. Forché is perhaps best-known for coining the term "poetry of witness." In her ground-breaking anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (1993), Forché presented poets who had written under extreme conditions, including war, exile, and imprisonment. Forché's first poetry collection, Gathering The Tribes, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award from the Yale University Press. Her second book, The Country Between Us, received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her translation of Alegria's work, Flowers From The Volcano, was published in 1983, and that same year, Writers and Readers Cooperative published El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers, for which she wrote the text. In 1991, her translations of The Selected Poetry of Robert Desnos, with William Kulik, was published. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, Mother Jones, and others. Forché has held three fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 received a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. Carolyn Forché, poet, editor, translator, and activist, teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Poetry at George Mason University in Virginia, and lives in Maryland with her husband, Harry Mattison and their son, Sean-Christophe. Born in Detroit, she graduated with a B.A. in 1972 from Justin Morrill College, a residential college at MSU devoted to the liberal arts.
Cosponsored by the RCAH Center for Poetry