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(1959 - / Seattle, Washington)

Biography of Chris Forhan

Chris Forhan poet

Chris Forhan grew up in Seattle, Washington. He earned an MA from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia. He is the author of Forgive Us Our Happiness (1999), co-winner of the Bakeless Literary Publication Prize; The Actual Moon, The Actual Stars (2003), winner of the Samuel Morse French Poetry Prize; and Black Leapt In (2009), chosen by poet Phillis Levin for the Barrow Street Press Book Prize.

Publishers Weekly noted that in Forgive Us Our Happiness Forhan’s “happiness is mediated by wry glances at the mythic . . . and the demotic.” Often elegiac, the poems in Black Leapt In address a son’s early loss of his father, and the strange yet familiar experience of coming of age. Lawrence Raab commented that the poems in Black Leapt In “have in them something of Theodore Roethke’s excitement at being alive in the physical world—how much there is to see!—as well as Roethke’s certainty of the darkness threaded all through that world.”

Forhan’s poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2008, AGNI online, and the Paris Review. He has received a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts.

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Billet-Doux

She reads by the light of a guttering candle
and likes the feel of each page's gilt edge
as she lifts it slightly at the corner, readying

herself to turn it. If the wind whips
the sycamore branches outside her window,
if her nightgowned shoulders shudder once

from a sudden chill, so much the better,

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