The 2008-2009 Gonzaga University Visiting Writer Series
Carolyn Forché (For-SHAY), a modern American political poet, will discuss and read from her work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 13 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room at Gonzaga University as part of the 2008-2009 Gonzaga University Visiting Writer Series. The event is free and open to the public.
Known in literary circles as a “poet of witness,” Forché is the author of four books of poetry, including: “Gathering the Tribes” (1976), “The Country Between Us” (1982), “The Angel of History” (1994), and “Blue Hour” (2003). Her works embody her devotion to exposing injustice and the dehumanizing effects of political repression throughout the world, and have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, Mother Jones, and others.
Forché’s first poetry collection, “Gathering the Tribes,” was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by Stanley Kunitz of the Yale University Press. According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign department of English Web site, “Forché’s work sustained a remarkable shift following a year spent on a Guggenheim fellowship in El Salvador. Working closely with Archbishop Oscar Humberto Romero, human rights activist later killed by right-wing assassins, Forché assisted in finding people who had disappeared and in reporting their whereabouts to Amnesty International.” [www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/forche/life.htm; Retrieved Oct. 30, 2008]
Her second collection of works, “The Country Between Us,”received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and Forché was recognized as the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets. Her third book of poetry, “The Angel of History,” received the Los Angeles Times’ Book Award. In 1998 in Stockholm, she was given the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award, in recognition of her work on behalf of human rights and the preservation of memory and culture.
Forché currently is an English professor at Georgetown University where she is the Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetry. She lives in Maryland with photographer husband Harry Mattison and their son Sean-Christophe. More information about Forché can be found at her agency’s Web site.
Continuing the Gonzaga University Visiting Writer Series will be Li-Young Lee, a poet speaking on Feb. 3; Joe Wilkins and Claire McQuerry, Gonzaga alumni writers speaking on March 3; Alexandra Fuller, a writer speaking on March 24; and Gonzaga’s own Beth Cooley, an associate professor of English, on April 9. All of the lectures will be held in the Globe Room of Cataldo Hall and all begin at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Gonzaga associate English Professor Tod Marshall at (509) 313-6681 or via e-mail.