Forrest Gander on Poetry

Forrest Gander is an award winning poet, essayist, translator, and Professor of Comparative Literature and Literary Arts at Brown University.

Personal Site: Forrest Gander      

Born in the Mojave Desert in Barstow, California, Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and spent significant periods in San Francisco, Dolores Hidalgo (Mexico), and Eureka Springs, Arkansas before moving to Rhode Island. He holds degrees in both English literature and geology.

His most recent book, Core Samples from the World, is transnational both formally and thematically and includes haibun (a Japanese poem/essay), lyric sequences, collaborations with photographers, and a madrigal. At its heart, it is concerned with the way the sense of self is revised and translated in encounters with what is foreign. Core Samples from the World was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

The author of numerous other books of poetry, including Eye Against Eye, and Science and Steepleflower, from New Directions Publishers, Gander also writes novels (As a Friend), essays (A Faithful Existence) and translates. His most recent translations are Watchword (which won the Villaurrutia Prize) by Pura López Colomé; Spectacle and Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura (winner of Best Translated Book Award, co-translated with Kyoko Yoshida); and Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho (Finalist, PEN Translation Prize).

Gander’s poems appear in many literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, and have been translated into a dozen languages. His books (see Books) in translation are available in France, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands. He is a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow and has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Howard Foundations. In 2011, he was awarded the Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship. The Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University, Gander teaches courses such as Poetry & Ethics, EcoPoetics, Latin American Death Trip, and Translation Theory and Practice.