Acclaimed poet, translator, and human rights advocate Carolyn Forché will read at Saint Leo University at 7 p.m., Thursday, January 21, 2016, in the Greenfelder-Denlinger Boardrooms of the Student Community Center. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Forché's most recent volume of poetry is The Blue Hour. She currently teaches at Georgetown University where she is director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics.

Forché's poetry sometimes centers on personal themes, such as memories. But she is also known for her deep concern with political oppression and violent conflict, and with the effects of those malevolent forces both upon societies, and upon the work of poets and authors within those societies.

Her interest has been nurtured by her broad international travel, including service as a human rights advocate in El Salvador the late 1970s—a time of deep unrest and violence in Central America. Given her subjects, some of Forché's work reflects graphic events and brutality.

Further, Forché has translated into English the works of other poets, and she has edited anthologies featuring writers who have witnessed—or endured—upheaval or violence. In interviews, Forché has connected a Catholic upbringing and education to her concern with social justice.

Forché is currently working on a memoir of her years in El Salvador, Lebanon, South Africa, and France. Her Saint Leo appearance is sponsored by the university's Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library.

Those interested in reading some of Forché's work before the event could look for The Blue Hour or her other volumes of poetry, which are The Angel of History, The Country Between Us, and Gathering the Tribes.

Her translations include the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish's title Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems with Munir Akash and Central American poet Claribel Alegría's book Flowers from the Volcano.

The first anthology Forché edited is called Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. She followed that with a broader volume co-edited with colleague Duncan Wu: Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001.

More information about the event and the poet is available from outreach librarian Carol Ann Moon at or (352) 588-8261. The university is located at 33701 County Road 52, Saint Leo, 33574, four miles east of Interstate 75 (Exit 285).