A memoir by poet and Chapman University Presidential Fellow in creative writing Carolyn Forché has earned a spot on the 2019 National Book Awards Longlist for Nonfiction.

“What You Have Heard is True” is Forché’s witness to the violence and horror of El Salvador’s civil war, in which thousands of civilians, including priests and nuns, died at the hands of the military.

The book has been widely praised by critics. “Written with a thriller writer’s knack for narrative tension and a poet’s gorgeous sentences and empathy,” said NPR reviewers. Novelist Margaret Atwood tweeted:  “Astonishing, powerful, so important at this time.”