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In the Lateness of the World  By  cover art

In the Lateness of the World

By: Carolyn Forché
Narrated by: Carolyn Forché
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Publisher's summary

FINALIST FOR THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY

“An undisputed literary event.”—NPR

“History—with its construction and its destruction—is at the heart of In the Lateness of the World. . . . In [it] one feels the poet cresting a wave—a new wave that will crash onto new lands and unexplored territories.”—Hilton Als, The New Yorker

Over four decades, Carolyn Forché’s visionary work has reinvigorated poetry’s power to awaken the reader. Her groundbreaking poems have been testimonies, inquiries, and wonderments. They daringly map a territory where poetry asserts our inexhaustible responsibility to one another.

Her first new collection in seventeen years, In the Lateness of the World is a tenebrous book of crossings, of migrations across oceans and borders but also between the present and the past, life and death. The world here seems to be steadily vanishing, but in the moments before the uncertain end, an illumination arrives and “there is nothing that cannot be seen.” In the Lateness of the World is a revelation from one of the finest poets writing today.

©2020 Carolyn Forché (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"The title of Carolyn Forché’s new collection seems prophetic. Seventeen years in the making, In the Lateness of the World is an act of witness, going repeatedly into the darkness of death and loss. . . .  Forché’s almost incantatory way with image produces a strange tone, spell-bound but also emotionally charged, in which time and place shift and blur—because we’re all implicated.”The Guardian

“Forché’s stately stanzas—her writing is never hurried—are the work of a literary reporter, Gloria Emerson as filtered through the eyes of Elizabeth Bishop or Grace Paley. Free of jingoism but not of moral gravity, Forché’s work questions—when it does question—how to be or to become a thinking, caring, communicating adult. Taken together, Forché’s five books of verse—the most recent, ‘In the Lateness of the World’ (Penguin Press), was published in March—are about action: memory as action, vision and writing as action. She asks us to consider the sometimes unrecognized, though always felt, ways in which power inserts itself into our lives and to think about how we can move forward with what we know. History—with its construction and its destruction—is at the heart of ‘In the Lateness of the World’ . . . In [it] one feels the poet cresting a wave—a new wave that will crash onto new lands and unexplored territories.”—Hilton Als, The New Yorker

“Amid almost incomprehensible world devastation, [In the Lateness of the World] reminds us that personhood and acknowledgement by the other are gifts that poetry, with its associative, nonlinear forms of thinking and embodied forms of knowing, is uniquely positioned to offer.”—Boston Review

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You don’t want her to stop.

Beautiful moments followed by horrific memories. I’m always amazed at how poets can take the simplest observations as launchpads into worlds of memory of wonder and even pain. She does this so well. Reading these lines make me want to know more about the life she led. Four stars. Great!

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