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Poet Carolyn Forche on her new book, 'What You Have Heard is True'

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Carolyn Forché author of 'What You Have Heard Is True'
Carolyn Forché author of 'What You Have Heard Is True'
Courtesy photo by Harry Mattison

In 1978, the poet Carolyn Forché was grading papers in her California home when a vehicle with Salvadoran license plates pulled into her driveway.

At first she thought it was just someone trying to turn around, but the engine shut off and a man with two children approached her house.

The man suggested that the country was on the verge of war and asked Forché to come document the violence happening there. 

The 27-year-old ignored the advice of her friends and family — and said yes. 

Forché's new memoir, "What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance," details how the stranger's prediction of war in El Salvador turned out to be true. 

She joined MPR's Euan Kerr for a conversation about her new book and how the war in El Salvador contributed to the immigration crisis of today.