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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 Be With (New Directions, 2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry; Eiko & Koma (New Directions, 2013); Core Samples from the World (New Directions, 2011), which was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Eye Against Eye (New Directions, 2005); Torn Awake (New Directions, 2001); Science & Steepleflower (New Directions, 1998); and Rush to the Lake (Alice James Books, 1988).

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 the essay collection A Faithful Existence (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2005) and two novels, The Trace (New Directions, 2014) and As a Friend (New Directions, 2008). With John Kinsella, he coauthored Redstart: An Ecological Poetics (University of Iowa Press, 2012).

“Forrest Gander is a Southern poet of a relatively rare kind, a restlessly experimental writer," writes the 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. 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.


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)
he 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 (Alica James Books, 1988)

Prose

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

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

Various excerpts from Eye Against Eye, by Forest Gander, copyright © 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 by Forest Gander. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Various excerpts from Eye Against Eye, by Forest Gander, copyright © 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 by Forest Gander. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is the author of several poetry collections, including Core Samples from the World (New Directions, 2011), which was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize. He currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

by this poet

poem
And then smelling it,
feeling it before
the sound even reaches
him, he kneels at
cliff’s edge and for the
first time, turns his
head toward the now
visible falls that
gush over a quarter-
mile of uplifted sheet-
granite across the valley
and he pauses,
lowering his eyes
for a moment, unable
to withstand the
2
poem

I love this
hill here        light       the mountain

            hidden like Fuji
in Hokusai’s sketches by a tidal wave
of fog

            which collapses
over habits of
waking up     coffee        standing for the bus
that re-enact themselves

            on every

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.