Carolyn Forché: In the Lateness of the World (with Patricia Smith)
Thursday March 19: 7:30PM – 8:30PM
Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.
Over four decades, Carolyn Forché's visionary work has reinvigorated poetry's power to awaken the reader. Her groundbreaking poems have been testimonies, inquiries, and wonderments. They daringly map a territory where poetry asserts our inexhaustible responsibility to each other.
Her first new collection in seventeen years, In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The poems call to the reader from the end of the world where they are sifting through the aftermath of history. Forché envisions a place where "you could see everything at once...every moment you have lived or place you have been." The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and "there is nothing that cannot be seen." In the Lateness of the World is a revelation from one of the finest poets writing today.
Join us in the 2nd floor Art Department for the release of In the Lateness of the World with Carolyn Forché.
Carolyn Forché is an American poet, translator, and memoirist. Her books of poetry are Blue Hour, The Angel of History, The Country Between Us, and Gathering the Tribes. 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. Her memoir, What You Have Heard Is True, was published by Penguin Press in 2019 and named a finalist for the National Book Award. She is a University Professor at Georgetown University. She lives in Maryland with her husband, photographer Harry Mattison.
Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, Life According to Motown; the children's book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was featured in the anthology Best American Mystery Stories.
Smith has collaborated with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Angela’s Pulse Dance Troupe, the Sage String Quartet and singer Meshell Ndegeocello; “Blood Dazzler,” a dance/theater production based on her book, sold out a two-week run at the Harlem Stage under the guidance of award-winning director Patricia McGregor; her one-woman show “Life After Motown,” produced by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, was performed in residency at the Trinidad Theater Workshop.
Smith is a Guggenheim fellow, finalist for the Neustadt Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, a former fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo and MacDowell, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is a distinguished professor for the City University of New York, a professor at the College of Staten in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, as well as an instructor for Cave Canem and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Writing Program.