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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), 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)

Kata: Bus Stop

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 block,

re-enact

            :that bus for the standing,
            coffee,
            waking themselves up to

habits which collapse
                                    on every block
like a tidal wave
of Hokusai’s sketches

Hidden in fog,
                        the mountain
            light here
                        this hill I love

Copyright © 1985 by Forrest Gander. Used with the permission of the author.

Copyright © 1985 by Forrest Gander. Used with the permission of the author.

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander is the author of several poetry collections, including Be With (New Directions, 2018), winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. 

by this poet

poem

                     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
poem

Stood waiting for the 990

                                            pound animal

                            to fall

        But suddenly

swiveled suddenly, suddenly

                                            the bull’s enormous

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.