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In the Lateness of the World


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Table of Contents

15 Museum of Stones 16 The Boatman 17 Water Crisis 18 Report from an Island 19 The Last Puppet 21 The Lightkeeper 22 The Crossing 23 Exile 24 Fisherman 25 For Ilya at Tsarskoye Selo 26 The Lost Suitcase 28 Last Bridge 30 Elegy for an Unknown Poet 32 Letter to a City Under Siege 33 Travel Papers 38 The Refuge of Art 40 A Room 45 The Ghost of Heaven 48 Ashes to Guazapa 49 Hue: From a Notebook 50 Morning on the Island 51 A Bridge 52 The End of Something 53 Early Life 54 Tapestry 55 Visitation 56 In Time of War 57 Lost Poem 58 Charmolypi 59 Souffrance 60 Sanctuary 61 Uninhabited 62 Clouds 63 Passage 64 Light of Sleep 65 Theologos 67 Mourning 68 Transport 69 Early Confession 70 Toward the End 72 What Comes 75 Dedications and notes 76 Acknowledgements

About the Author

Carolyn Forche was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950. She has taught at several universities, and is now Director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and holds the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Her many honours include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of American Poets, and the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award (given in 1997) for using her poetry as a 'means to attain understanding, reconciliation, and peace within communities and between communities'. Her first collection, Gathering the Tribes (1976), was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by Stanley Kunitz. Her second book, The Country Between Us (1981), drew on her experiences in El Salvador during the civil war, and won the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her later collections have drawn upon work written over many years: The Angel of History (HarperCollins, USA; Bloodaxe Books, 1994), Blue Hour (HarperCollins, USA; Bloodaxe Books, 2003), and In the Lateness of the World (due in 2016). Her landmark anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness (Norton, 1993), was followed by Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English: 1500-2001 (Norton, 2014), edited with Duncan Wu. Her translations include Mahmoud Darwish's Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems (with Munir Akash, 2003), Claribel Alegria's Flowers from the Volcano (1983), and Robert Desnos's Selected Poetry (with William Kulik, 1991).


It has been 17 years since Carolyn Forche published a book of poems, and In the Lateness of the World announces she is back. Coming fast on the heels of her memoir of last year this book is bursting with poems of migration, crossing, and looking back. It is as if the poet is standing, one foot in the river, wondering which way the next crossing will go. Drawing on her own travels and periods of reporting, on the world's seemingly endless upheaval, these poems move beyond disquiet and creates the charged ethical field in which we all live, all the time, especially at that moment we move. -- John Freeman * Lit Hub *
Carolyn Forche makes a complex voice for all the mute victims of our destructive world as the killing goes on and the patterns of our lives continue our committed self-destruction. Hers is the heroism which still cares. -- Robert Creeley
Part of poetry's tragic knowledge is that elegy is endless. Yet in its power to recall and to memorialise, elegy also effaces time and reinvests loss, the lost, with life. It is a form of overcoming, essential to our knowing of, and dwelling in, the present and to our becoming human... Carolyn Forche is one of the contemporary masters of that form, that act. -- Michael Palmer
Again Carolyn Forche hovers above the lacerated landscape of history filling the holes "between saying and said". Blue Hour does not console but emboldens. The fear we share is never dodged. This singular voice is writ in bone, snow, coal, stone and sorrow. -- C.D. Wright

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