Forrest Gander was born in Barstow, California, in 1956. He attended the College of William and Mary and received an MA from San Francisco State University. He holds degrees in both geology and literature.
Gander is the author of several collections of poetry, including Knot (Copper Canyon Press, 2022); Twice Alive (New Directions, 2021); and Be With (New Directions, 2018), winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The collection was also long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry. His 2011 collection Core Samples from the World (New Directions) was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize. His works in translation include Shuri Kido’s Names and Rivers (Copper Canyon Press, 2022), co-translated with Tomoyuki Endo; Coral Bracho’s It Must Be a Misunderstanding (New Directions, 2022) and Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems (New Directions, 2008); Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2016); and No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López Colomé (Graywolf Press, 2002).
Gander is the coeditor with Lenore Manderson of Water’s Edge: Writing on Water (Northwestern University Press, 2022) and editor of Mouth to Mouth: 12 Contemporary Mexican Women Poets (Milkweed Editions, 1993), a bilingual anthology of contemporary Mexican poets. He is also the author of multiple essay collections. With John Kinsella, he coauthored Redstart: An Ecological Poetics (University of Iowa Press, 2012).
Of Gander’s work, poet Robert Hass writes, “Forrest Gander is a Southern poet of a relatively rare kind, a restlessly experimental writer.”
Gander’s honors include a 2023 Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a Whiting Award, and two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative North American Writing, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo. He was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2017.
Gander was the Briggs-Copeland poet at Harvard University before becoming the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of literary arts and comparative literature at Brown University. He lives in Northern California.