Carolyn Forché 1990 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry

Carolyn Forché was born in Detroit in 1950 and is the author of four books of poetry, the first of which, Gathering the Tribes (1976), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The Country Between Us (1981) commemorates two years spent working with human rights advocates in El Salvador. The book contains some of the most powerful poems of political violence and political commitment ever written in the United States. The collection received the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America.  In 1993 she compiled and edited Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, a large volume that assembles the work of nearly 150 poets, all marked in some direct way by the 20th century’s wars or devastations.

Forché has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. She published her fourth collection, Blue Hour, in 2003, and a memoir, The Horse on Our Balcony, in 2010.  She is a noted translator with books published on the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, Claribel Alegria, and Robert Desnos. Forché has taught at various universities including George Mason, Skidmore, Columbia, San Diego State, and the University of Virginia.  She is a professor in the English Department at Georgetown University and currently the director of the Georgetown Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.

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