Annual Literary Festival
Old Dominion University
October 3-6, 1983
Since the 1976 publication of her first book of poems, Gathering the Tribes, Carolyn Forche has been a major new voice in American poetry. Her work as a journalist and human-rights investigator in Europe and Central America led to her second poetry collection, The Country Between Us, which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of 1981 and received the coveted Di Castagnola award from the Poetry Society of America. Jacobo Timerman wrote, "Latin America needs a poet to replace the man who represented in his writings the beauty, sufferings, fears and dreams of this continent: Pablo Neruda. Carolyn Forche is that voice." Irvin Ehrenpreis said, "I do not know another poet writing in English today whose work has the force and drama of Carolyn Forche's." Larry Levis observed, Forche's subject, El Salvador, is one that could have been easily sentimentalized or sensationalized by a lesser poet. And yet it is spoken of here with honesty and tenderness, even amid its tortures." Denise Levertov remarked, "Here's a poet who's doing what I want to do."
On Thursday afternoon Forche will discuss poetry and answer questions from the audience. Her evening poetry reading will conclude the 1983 literary festival. [extracted from 1983 brochure]