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American Book Award-winning poet

Carolyn Forché

Thursday, November 17, 2022
4:30 p.m. - Craft talk on writing
7:30 p.m. - Reading and conversation
Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition, University at Albany
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Free and open to the public.

Carolyn Forché won the 2021 American Book Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her new collection, In The Lateness of the World, which NPR called, “An undisputed literary event.”


The new collection furthers “a poetry of witness,” a tradition that Forché helped to define—a clear-eyed examination of war, imprisonment, torture and slavery. Hilton Als said in the New Yorker, “History—with its construction and its destruction—is at the heart of In the Lateness of the World... one feels the poet cresting a wave—a new wave that will crash onto new lands and unexplored territories.”

About Carolyn Forché 

Carolyn Forché is an American poet, translator, and memoirist. Her books of poetry include Blue HourThe Angel of HistoryThe Country Between Us, and Gathering the Tribes. Her memoir, What You Have Heard Is True, was published by Penguin Press in 2019.

In 2013, Forché received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship given for distinguished poetic achievement. In 2017, she became one of the first two poets to receive the Windham-Campbell Prize. She previously visited the NYS Writers Institute in 2003 and 2014.

Praise for In the Lateness of the World

“The title of Carolyn Forché’s new collection seems prophetic. Seventeen years in the making, In the Lateness of the World is an act of witness, going repeatedly into the darkness of death and loss. . . .  Forché’s almost incantatory way with image produces a strange tone, spell-bound but also emotionally charged, in which time and place shift and blur—because we’re all implicated.” — The Guardian

“Forché’s stately stanzas — her writing is never hurried — are the work of a literary reporter, Gloria Emerson as filtered through the eyes of Elizabeth Bishop or Grace Paley. Free of jingoism but not of moral gravity, Forché’s work questions—when it does question—how to be or to become a thinking, caring, communicating adult. Taken together, Forché’s five books of verse—the most recent, In the Lateness of the World (Penguin Press), was published in March—are about action: memory as action, vision and writing as action. She asks us to consider the sometimes unrecognized, though always felt, ways in which power inserts itself into our lives and to think about how we can move forward with what we know. History— with its construction and its destruction — is at the heart of In the Lateness of the World ... In [it] one feels the poet cresting a wave—a new wave that will crash onto new lands and unexplored territories.” — Hilton Als, The New Yorker

“In the Lateness of the World is a testament to the aftermath of human culture . . . Forché’s belief that it is the poet’s responsibility to speak truth from these wounded cities creates poems that are sometimes difficult to reckon with even as they soar in moments of unexpected beauty.” — The New York Times Book Review

“An undisputed literary event.” — Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR

Carolyn Forche, credit Don J. Usner

(Photo credit: Don J. Usner)

Book cover: In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forche
Carolyn Forche books
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