Over the last year and a half, University Professor Carolyn Forché and Chard diNiord, Poet Laureate of Vermont, met to conduct a three-part interview for the January 2017 issue of World Literature Today. The series, titled “An Inexhaustible Responsibility for the Other”: A Conversation with Carolyn Forché, explores Carolyn's experiences, most notably during the Salvadorean Civil War, and their impact on her poetry. Through a series of events, she translated a group of poems by Nicaraguan poet Claribel Alegría and was eventually invited to El Salvador by Claribel's nephew, Leonel Gomez Vides. Leonel stressed that her perspective as a poet, rather than a journalist, was vital to capturing and sharing the experiences of the people of El Salvador.
"He [Leonel] believed that poetry would affect the world. And it would affect the world not only in our time but in the times to come, because in Latin America, and in many other countries, and in our own country, I would argue, poetry does survive the age."
Part one includes an in-depth discussion of the genre of Witness Poetry in relation to Carolyn's work; in addition, it covers the political and bloody struggle she observed in late 1970s El Salvador immortalized in her collection of poems The Country Between Us.
Read the full transcript of Part 1 HERE.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing, Carolyn!