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About this poet

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 Eye Against Eye (New Directions Press, 2005); Torn Awake (2001); Science & Steepleflower (1998); Deeds of Utmost Kindness (1994); Lynchburg (1993); and Rush to the Lake (1988).

He is the editor of Mouth to Mouth: 12 Contemporary Mexican Women Poets (1993), a bilingual anthology of contemporary Mexican poets, and the translator of No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López Colomé. He also co-translated Immanent Visitor: The Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz with Kent Johnson.

Gander edits Lost Roads Publishers with poet C. D. Wright. His collection of essays, A Faithful Existence, was published in 2005.

"Forrest Gander is a Southern poet of a relatively rare kind, a restlessly experimental writer," wrote poet Robert Hass.

Gander's honors include a Whiting Award, two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative North American Writing, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo.

Gander is professor of English and comparative literature at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Witness

Forrest Gander

                     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.

Copyright © 2010 by Forrest Gander. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Forrest Gander. Used with permission of the author.

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander

Forest Gander is the author of several poetry collections, including Eye Against Eye (New Directions Press, 2005).

by this poet

poem
Could have been
otherwise and 
birdsong make us 
nauseous. And
gigantic roiling sunsets
give us vertigo. The
world of flowers is
for insects, not 
us. But tonic
is durance among.
poem
My husband did all this.          We used to live
in a rambling kind of house   with gossipy verandas.
Then he bought a stove, an iron stove    with a reservoir to it.
He always insisted it was bad luck    to come in that door
and go out the other. It's bad luck   to pay back salt
if you borrow it.      To the
poem

 

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