We are honored - and thrilled - to help present this evening with Carolyn Forché, for decades one of the most vital, essential poets at work in this country. Her collections - Gathering the Tribes, The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour - have been award-winning books, occasions unto themselves. She has also edited two remarkable anthologies, Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry of Witness and Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English 1500-2001. She is here with a long-awaited first prose book, itself a powerful, significant work of encounter and witness, What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance (Penguin Press).
“Carolyn Forché asks us not only to hear, but to see, the scale of human and moral devastation in El Salvador. For those of us who are citizens and residents of the United States, Forché’s powerful, moving, and disturbing memoir also demands that we recognize our country’s responsibility for the atrocities committed by the El Salvadoran military. As is the case with her poetry, Forché’s nonfiction asserts the need for truth—in our politics, in our writing, in our witnessing.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen.
“What You Have Heard Is True is as much an enthralling account of a life marked by an encounter as it is a document of a time and place. Carolyn Forché’s urgent and compelling memoir narrates her role as witness in an especially explosive and precarious period in El Salvador’s history. This incredible book shapes chaos into accountability. It marries the attentive sensibility of a master poet with the unflinching eyes of a human rights activist.” —Claudia Rankine.
Co-presented with HEDGEBROOK.