Carolyn Forché First American Poet Awarded Windham Campbell Prize

Carolyn Forché has been selected as the first American poet to receive the 2017 Windham Campbell Prize, administered by Yale University, alongside recipients for fiction, nonfiction, and drama. Her commitment to recording political and social forces through her ‘poetry of witness’ was cited by Windham Campbell as a factor in her selection as one of this year’s prize winners.

“…her own work illuminates some of the darkest moments in twentieth century history, including the Holocaust, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Salvadoran Civil War. Shifting between past and present, life and death, individual and nation, hope and devastation, Forché’s verse seeks out the place where the personal and the political converge—the place where, to borrow the refrain of The Angel of History (1994), a poem can become ‘a memory through which one hasn’t lived.'”

Carolyn responded:

“I’m elated at the wonderful and most unexpected news of this prize, with its blessing of freedom and time, and the recognition that what I have set to paper has worth, not only for itself but for the world. I’m filled with gratitude, and most especially moved by the founders’ compassion toward their fellow writers. Thank you. My writerly solitude is now full of light.”

Read the full description of her recognition HERE

Congratulations, Carolyn!