Treasure Island

Chris Forhan

(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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Last Words

The night sky's a black stretch limo, boss in the back
behind tinted glass. You could say that.

Down here's a dungeon, up there's the glittering
ring of keys in the sentry's fist. The self

exists. Beauty too. But they're elsewhere.
You could say that. Or not speak till commanded to.

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