Forché's first poetry collection, Gathering The
won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award from the Yale University
Press. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the work
of Salvadoran-exiled poet Claribel Alegría, and upon
her return, received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship,
which enabled her to travel to El Salvador, where she worked
as a human rights advocate.
Her second book,
The Country Between Us, received the Poetry Society of America's
Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was
also the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets.
Her translation of Alegria's work, Flowers From The Volcano,
was published in 1983, and that same year, Writers and Readers
Cooperative published El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers,
for which she wrote the text. In 1991, her translations of
The Selected Poetry of Robert Desnos, with William Kulik, was
published. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The
New York Times, The Washington Post, The
Nation, Esquire, Mother
Jones, and others. Forché has held three fellowships
from The National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 received
a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship.
Her anthology, Against
Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, was published
in 1993, and in 1994, her third book of poetry, The Angel
of History, was chosen for 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. In April of 2000, a new book of her translations
of Claribel Alegría, Sorrow, was published. Her fourth
book of poems, Blue Hour, was published in 2003. She also co-translated
Selected Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.
poet, editor, translator, and activist, teaches in the M.F.A.
Program in Poetry at George Mason University
in Virginia, and lives in Maryland with her husband, Harry
Mattison and their son, Sean-Christophe. Born in Detroit, she
graduated with a B.A. in 1972 from Justin Morrill College,
a residential college at MSU devoted to the liberal arts.
"The voice we hear in Blue
Hour is a voice both very
young and very old. It belongs to someone who has seen everything
and who strives imperfectly, desperately, to be equal to what
she has seen. The hunger to know is matched here by a desire
to be new, totally without cynicism, open to the shocks of
experience as if perpetually for the first time, though unillusioned,
wise beyond any possible taint of a false or assumed innocence." -Robert
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