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Carolyn Forché
Modern American Poetry's site on Carolyn Forché.
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Carolyn Forché
Photo credit: Don J. Usner

Carolyn Forché

On April 28, 1950, Carolyn Forché was born in Detroit, Michigan. She studied at Michigan State University and earned an MFA from Bowling Green State University.

Forché's books of poetry include: Blue Hour (HarperCollins, 2004); The Angel of History (HarperCollins, 1994), which received the Los Angeles Times Book Award; The Country Between Us (HarperCollins, 1982), which received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets; and Gathering the Tribes (Yale University Press, 1976), which was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by Stanley Kunitz. She is also the editor of Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (W. W. Norton, 1993), and the coeditor of Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English 1500-2001 (W. W. Norton), forthcoming in January 2014.

Among her translations are Mahmoud Darwish's Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems with Munir Akash (University of California Press, 2003), Claribel Alegria's Flowers from the Volcano (University Of Pittsburgh Press, 1983), and Robert Desnos's Selected Poetry, with William Kulik, (Ecco Press, 1991).

Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1992, she received the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum.

In 2013, Forché received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, given for distinguished poetic achievement.

She is now Director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and holds the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She lives in Maryland with her husband.

Selected Bibliography

Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English 1500-2001 (W. W. Norton, 2014)
Blue Hour (HarperCollins, 2004)
The Angel of History (HarperCollins, 1994)
Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (W. W. Norton, 1993)
The Country Between Us (HarperCollins, 1982)
Gathering the Tribes (Yale University Press, 1976)


From the Image Archive
Poems by
Carolyn Forché

For the Stranger
Sequestered Writing
The Angel of History [In April, the lilacs come, wrapped in Le Monde]

Translations by
Carolyn Forché

I Belong There by Mahmoud Darwish

Prose by
Carolyn Forché

Video: Blaney Lecture
"Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness"

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