In 1956, Forrest Gander was born in Barstow, California. 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 Twice Alive (New Directions, 2021) and Be With (New Directions, 2018), winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The collection was also longlisted 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.
He is the editor of Mouth to Mouth: 12 Contemporary Mexican Women Poets (Milkweed Editions, 1993), a bilingual anthology of contemporary Mexican poets, and the translator of Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) and No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López Colomé (Graywolf Press, 2002), among others.
Gander 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 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 is professor of English and comparative literature at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and lives in Rhode Island.