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Forrest Gander

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 Be With (New Directions, 2018), winner of the 2019 Pulizter 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.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry

Be With  (New Directions, 2018)
Eiko & Koma (New Directions, 2013)
Core Samples from the World (New Directions, 2011)
Eye Against Eye (New Directions, 2005)
The Blue Rock Collection (Salt Publishing, 2004)
Torn Awake (New Directions, 2001)
Science & Steepleflower (New Directions, 1998)
Deeds of Utmost Kindness (University Press of New England, 1994)
Lynchburg (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993)
Rush to the Lake (Alice James Books, 1988)

Prose

The Trace (New Directions, 2014)
As a Friend (New Directions, 2008)
A Faithful Existence (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005)

By This Poet

8

Eye Against Eye [excerpt]

As if nothing were wrong egrets dip-feed in near shore channels

the human genome reveals chromosomes from parasites

annexed by our DNA long ago

mongrels to the core and tourists

with cameras take the front pews

the enemy blows himself up at Passover dinner

the enemy trembles in a cave starving

the enemy lets go a daisy cutter

a million cubic feet of mud slides down the slope

toward a single bungalow in Laguna Beach

Witness

                     for Jean-Luc Mylayne

Or the vision that holds 

at its razorpoint 

the feathers of a bird 

goes blue. Each sleepless-

ness framed, behind,

by this whine

of insects. So a shutter,

lifted, offers 

to looking

the very oracular

interior of that

openness into which bird 

inserts itself. Its song 

shortening when 

there is wind. Comes

the visible and 

its remainder, a

blur, what? Tittering 

at lower and lower 

luminance. That the 

accompaniment might be

sufficiently responsive.