Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander (1956– ) was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up, for the most part, in Virginia. Trenchant periods of his life were spent in San Francisco, Dolores Hidalgo (Mexico), and Eureka Springs, Arkansas. With degrees in both geology and English literature, Gander is the author of numerous books of poetry, translation, fiction, and essays. He’s the A.K. Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University. A U.S. Artists Rockefeller fellow, Gander has been recipient of grants from the NEA, the Guggenheim, Howard, Witter Bynner and Whiting foundations. His 2011 collection Core Samples from the World was an NBCC and Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry.

Be With

Poetry by Forrest Gander

Drawing from his experience as a translator, Forrest Gander includes in the first, powerfully elegiac section a version of a poem by the Spanish mystical poet St. John of the Cross. He continues with a long multilingual poem examining the syncretic geological and cultural history of the U.S. border with Mexico. The poems of the third section—a moving transcription of Gander’s efforts to address his mother dying of Alzheimer’s—rise from the page like hymns, transforming slowly from reverence to revelation.…
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The Trace

Fiction by Forrest Gander

The Trace is Forrest Gander’s new masterful, poetic novel about a road trip through Mexico. After a devastating incident involving their adolescent son, a couple embark upon a trip through the vast Chihuahua Desert. They retrace the steps of Ambrose Bierce and try to piece their lives back together. With tender precision, Gander explores the intimacy as they travel through towns and picturesque canyons on a journey through the heart of the Mexican desert.…
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Eiko & Koma

Poetry by Forrest Gander

For over thirty years, Eiko & Koma, the Japanese-born choreographers and dancers, have created an influential theatre of movement out of stillness, shape, light, and sound. In tribute and collaboration, the acclaimed American poet Forrest Gander has written a mesmerizing series of poems — hinging around a dance schematic — that captures and extends the dancers’ performance with lyrical intensity and vividness. Two larval bodies naked with faces and seared straw in their hair hold our looking to the dark back of and beyond…
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Poetry Pamphlets 5-8

In March of 2013 we launched a new series of Poetry Pamphlets, a reincarnated version of the “Poet of the Month” and “Poets of the Year” series James Laughlin published in the 1940s, which brought out such eclectic hits as William Carlos Williams’s The Broken Span, Delmore Schwartz’s poetic play Shenandoah, John Donne’s Some Poems and a Devotion, and Yvor Winters’s Giant Weapon, among many others. The New Directions Poetry Pamphlets will highlight original work by writers from around the world, as well as forgotten treasures lost in the cracks of literary history.…
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Core Samples from the World

Poetry by Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander’s Core Samples from the World is a magnificent compendium of poetry, photography, and essay (a form of Japanese haibun). Collaborating with three acclaimed photographers, Gander explores tensions between the familiar and foreign. His eloquent new work voices an ethical concern for others, exploring empathic relations in which the world itself is fundamental. Taking us around the globe to China, Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Chile, Core Samples shows how Gander’s “sharp sense of place has made him the most earthly of our avant-garde, the best geographer of fleshly sites since Olson” (Donald Revell, The Colorado Review).…
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As a Friend

Fiction by Forrest Gander

Set in a rural landscape as vivid as its characters, As a Friend tells the story of a gifted young man, a land surveyor, whose impact on those around him provokes intense self-examination and charged eroticism. With poetic insight, Gander explores the nature of attraction, betrayal, and loyalty. Beautifully written and suffused with a pastoral nostalgia, As a Friend is brilliant in style and unsettling.
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Eye Against Eye

Poetry by Forrest Gander

The three long poems in Eye Against Eye convey the wrought particulars of intimate human relations, perceptions of the landscape, and the historical moment, tense with political exigencies. Mayan ruins invoke the collapsing Twin Towers, love between parents and child blisters with tension, and a bicycle thief shatters the narcotic illusion of a private accord. Also contained is “Late Summer Entry,” a series of poetic commentaries on Sally Mann’s landscape photographs.…
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Torn Awake

Poetry by Forrest Gander

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.…
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Science And Steepleflower

Poetry by Forrest Gander

Science & Steepleflower is a breakthrough book for Forrest Gander, a poet whose richness of language and undaunted lyric passion land him in traditions running from Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins to Robert Duncan and Michael Ondaatje. His poetry has been called “desperately beautiful” by Thom Gunn, and “original and fascinating” by John Ashbery. With poems in the leading journals of the day––American Poetry Review, Grand Street, Sulfur, and Conjunctions, to name just a few––Gander plumbs the erotic depths of human interaction with the land.…
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Alice Iris Red Horse

Yoshimasu Gozo’s groundbreaking poetry has spanned over half a century since the publication of his first book, Departure, in 1964. Much of his work is highly unorthodox: it challenges the print medium and language itself, and consequently Alice Iris Red Horse is as much a book on translation as it is a book in translation. Since the late ‘60s, Gozo has collaborated with visual artists and free-jazz musicians. In the 1980s he began creating art objects engraved on copper plates and later produced photographs and video works.…
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The Galloping Hour

Poetry by Alejandra Pizarnik

Translated from the French by Patricio Ferrari Forrest Gander

Edited by Patricio Ferrari

The Galloping Hour: French Poems—never before rendered in English and unpublished during her lifetime—gathers for the first time all the poems that Alejandra Pizarnik (revered by Octavio Paz and Roberto Bolaño) wrote in French. Conceived during her Paris sojourn (1960–1964) and in Buenos Aires (1970–1971) near the end of her tragically short life, these poems explore many of Pizarnik’s deepest obsessions: the limitations of language, silence, the body, night, sex, and the nature of intimacy.…
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Firefly Under The Tongue

Poetry by Coral Bracho

Translated by Forrest Gander

Born in 1951 in Mexico City, Coral Bracho has published half a dozen books of poems including the groundbreaking El ser que va a morir (1982) which changed the course of Mexican poetry. Her exquisite long-lined poems evoke the sensual realm where logic is disbanded, wonder evoked. In the words of her translator Forrest Gander, “Her diction spills out along ceaselessly shifting beds of sound…Bracho’s poems make sense first as music, and music propels them.…
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Gander does not turn away from grief but dives into its awful and cathartic cascading beauty that wavers between gravity and weightlessness.

The Arkansas Review

Spooky and sublime.

The Paris Review

Gander’s novel surges. No other writer that I know of has so accurately and carefully depicted the tiny internecine battles of two lovers on an interminable drive as does Gander in this book.

—Lowry Pressly, Los Angeles Review of Books

The Trace is a poet’s book, which is to say it is filled with the pleasures of language, sharply and skillfully used, but Forrest Gander also has the narrative drive of the best novelists. The Trace is a tense, propulsive thriller, which keeps on building until the very last page.

—Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men

Gander’s poetic writing lends this story a dense, brooding atmosphere; a carefully crafted novel of intimacy and isolation.

The New Yorker

As in his previous works, Gander shows he is keenly aware of the loneliness that imbues human suffering and sets grief alight using beautiful, tense, haunting prose.

Publishers Weekly

What really haunts Gander, who is a translator as well as a poet, isn’t so much death as the complexities of life: the frequently unknown stories that lie beneath and within the stories we tell.

The Washington Post

His work burrows into the particularities of disparate places and cultures in order to sound the differences between them.

The Boston Review

A restlessly experimental writer.

—Robert Hass, The Washington Post Book World

A moving elegy. It is also proof that language has magical potential.

—Joanna Scott

The clarity of his artistic vision, formal innovation, and emotional honesty are enviable.

The Harvard Review

In this strange and beautiful novel as in life, love is part of what is sacred.

—Jeanette Winterson, The New York Times Book Review

In Core Samples Gander burrows into the particularities of disparate places and cultures in order to sound the differences between them. His work moves across forms and modes, reminding us that writing is an action, a process of creation, itself a form of traveling.

The Boston Review

The reader is constantly surprised by what comes next — such as a side trip to Utopia, VA — and begins to crave the interruptions, which add freshness and energy to the work.

—Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post

He brings the world’s frightening and beautiful strangeness far beyond the edge of the page.

Critical Mass

The wonder of this is the concentration…. I am thinking that there are writers and there are writers and this guy takes the cake.

  • Literature, Philosophy, & the Humanities Journal*
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