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Placed in the context of twentieth-century moral disaster--war, genocide, the Holocaust, the atomic bomb--Forche's ambitious and compelling third collection of poems is a meditation of memory, specifically how memory survives the unimaginable. The poems reflect the effects of such experience: the lines, and often the images within them, are fragmented discordant. But read together, these lines become a haunting mosaic of grief, evoking the necessary accommodations human beings make to survive what is unsurvivable. As poets have always done, Forche attempts to give voice to the unutterable, using language to keep memory alive, relive history, and link the past with the future.
Carolyn Forché is the author of Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award; The Country Between Us, which received awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Society of America; and The Angel of History, awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award. She is also the editor of the anthology Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Centuly Poetry of Witness. Recently she was presented with the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award for Peace and Culture in Stockholm. She lives in Maryland with her husband and son.