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July 18, 2001From the Academy Audio Archive

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, 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
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 (Alica James Books, 1988)

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

Voiced Stops (audio only)

 

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Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander

Forest Gander is the author of several poetry collections, including Eye Against Eye (New Directions Press, 2005). He currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

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

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

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