Friday6Sep 2019

Immersive Weekend Poetry Workshop with Carolyn Forché

Wilkinson College Graduate Student Workshop

Friday, September 6, 2019 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
2019-09-06 16:00 2019-09-06 19:00 America/Los_Angeles Immersive Weekend Poetry Workshop with Carolyn Forché Laura Scudder Conference Room, Roosevelt Hall Allison DeVries

RSVP is required

Graduate Students can enroll in this workshop through Course number is GUS 530.

Laura Scudder Conference Room, Roosevelt Hall

Chapman Community

Students, staff, faculty and alumni

Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 4-7PM | Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 12-4:30PM | Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 12-4:30PM

Immersive Weekend Poetry Workshop with Carolyn Forché

Laura Scudder Conference Room, Roosevelt Hall 121


This three-day, intensive workshop with Presidential Fellow Carolyn Forché combines generative assignments, critique, and new approaches to revision. We will consider poetic modes (elegiac, epistolary, enumerative, anagogic), as well as contemporary forms (documentary, day-book, prose poem). At the end of each session, an assignment will be presented with two or three options that include examples, and students will be expected to produce an original creative work by the following class meeting. During our meetings, we will share and discuss the work. In addition to in-class writing, short presentations will be offered by the instructor on the poetic process, composition, revision, sequencing, and the development of the poet’s notebook. By the end of the workshop, each student will have written and revised new poems. There will be some assigned reading, including model poems, examples of documentary poetry, and works in notebook form (such as those of Anna Kamienska). 


To apply, please submit a poetry portfolio of 6-8 pages and a short statement of how this workshop will support your writing life in the online submission form by Friday August 16, 2019. Be sure to include your name in the writing sample file. Space is limited, and the deadline is firm. 


Carolyn Forché, Chapman University Presidential Fellow in Creative Writing, American poet, editor, professor, translator, and human rights advocate

"Carolyn Forché shows how people survive in an unbearable world." —Daina Savage

Renowned as a “poet of witness,” Carolyn Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first poetry collection, Gathering The Tribes (Yale University Press, 1976), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. 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 (Harper and Row, 1982), 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 third book of poetry, The Angel of History (HarperCollins, 1994), was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Blue Hour is her fourth collection of poems (HarperCollins, 2003). She is currently at work on a memoir of her years in El Salvador, Lebanon, South Africa, and France.


Her memoir What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Random House, 2019) is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.


Forché’s anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 1993. In 2014, her new anthology, The Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001, was published. Her translation of Claribel Alegria’s work, Flowers From The Volcano, was published by the University Pittsburgh Press in 1983. In 2000, Curbstone Press published a new book of her translations of Alegrí­a, entitled Sorrow. In 1983, Writers and Readers Cooperative (New York and London) published El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers, for which she wrote the text. In 1991, The Ecco Press published her translations of The Selected Poetry of Robert Desnos (with William Kulik). She co-translated Selected Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish (University of California Press, 2002), from which a chapbook selection had been published by The Lannan Foundation (2001).


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. 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. In 2013, Forché won the Academy of American Poets Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement. "For her steady gaze into the abyss and for her crafted house of awakened human heavens where she calls us to live," said academy chancellor Juan Felipe Herrera, "we celebrate and recognize Carolyn Forché and her heroic career: gathering word-by-word embers to face and save lives. Before they are disappeared." In 2014 Forche was announced a finalist for the 24th Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Carolyn Forché directs the Lannan Center for Poetry and Social Practice and is a University Professor of English at Georgetown University. She lives in Maryland with her husband, photographer Harry Mattison, and visits Chapman University each semester as a Presidential Fellow.


You can contact the event organizer, Allison DeVries at or (714) 997-6752.

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