Forrest Gander is a Southern poet of a relatively rare kind, a restlessly experimental writer.—Robert Hass, Washington Post Book World
Three years ago, New Directions published Forrest Gander’s Science & Steepleflower, and it received unanimous, widespread praise. "A major book," said The Chicago Review. "Gander ... utilizes the most eclectic diction since Hart Crane," said The Boston Review. "Gander’s is a lyrical and rigorous aesthetic" (Publishers Weekly). In his new collection Torn Awake, Gander continues to blend passion with intelligence. He unveils the forces of physical nature, but also those of personhood: the self as a construction of reciprocally reflective relations. Each of the book’s major sequences develops a unique subject, rhythm, and form, bringing to light the molten potential at the core of personality. Additionally, the poems illuminate ways that language––as history read by anthropologists, discourse between lovers, graffiti in temples, or even language as an event in itself––incarnates presence. Addressing father and son relationships, and venerating erotic love, Gander’s poems surge with vitality, the energy of active discovery. "A sound master... Eros presides over his generous poems that ring with the wondrous names of lowly things" (Village Voice Literary Supplement).