Forrest Gander  [ USA ]

Biography

Forrest Gander Portrait
© Deborah Luster; Courtesy of New Directions

Guest 2002.

Bibliography

Rush to the Lake
Alice James Books
Farmington, 1988

Eggplants & Lotus Root
Burning Deck
Providence, 1991

Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women (Hg.)
Milkweed Editions
Minneapolis, 1993

Deeds of Utmost Kindness
University Press of New England
Hanover, 1994

Science & Steepleflower
New Directions
New York, 1998

Of Their Ornate Eyes 
duration press
Sausalito,  1999

Torn Awake
New Directions
New York, 2001

No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López-Colomé (Hg.)
Graywolf Press
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 2002

Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jamie Saenz (Hg.)
University of California Press
Berkely,  2002

A Faithful Existence: Reading, Memory, and Transcendence
Shoemaker & Hoard
Washington, 2005

Sound of Summer Running
Nazraeli Press
Tucson, 2004

The Blue Rock Collection
Salt Publishing
Cambridge, 2004

Eye Against Eye 
New Directions Pub
New York, 2005

Übersetzer: Gerd Burger, Richard Weihe

Forrest Gander was born in Barstow, California, in 1956 and grew up in Virginia.  Since 1982 he has lived with his wife and son on Rhode Island.  He is professor for English literature and director of the 'Graduate Program in Creative Writing' at the Brown University.

Alongside his literary work, he also works as translator, publisher and editor (together with C.D. Wright 'Lost Roads Publishers') as well as literary critic and essayist, for various magazines (including 'The Nation', 'The Boston Review', 'The Providence Journal'). Gander’s development as a writer is linked to two far-reaching, biographical experiences.  After graduating in Geology and English Literature at the 'College of William and Mary in Williamsburg' (Virginia) in 1978, he had to fight against cancer which, according to his own statement, "awakened the need for artistic expression".  Following further literary studies at the 'San Francisco State University', travels with C.D. Wright to Mexico, amongst others, led him to writing, under the impressions of the Latin American poetry there, his first poetic texts.  This encounter with Mexican poetry finds expression in Gander’s very active translation work during the past few years.  Already in 1993, with 'Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women', he published a bi-lingual edition of contemporary Mexican poetry.  'Of Their Ornate Eyes of Crystalline Sand: Poems of Coral Bracho' (1999) followed as well as, in 2002, the collections 'No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López-Colomé' and (together with Kent Johnson) 'Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz'.

For his poetic work, which now includes six poetry volumes, Gander has received several prizes including the 'Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative North American Writing' (which he received twice), the grant of the 'National Endowment for the Arts' as well as prizes of the 'Fund for Poetry' and the 'Writing Foundation'.

His poems are non-rhyming and narrative, partly written in the type of English sonnet form.  Characteristic for most of the poems is the continual critical discussion of a 'narrator-self' with the physical presence of the outside world, with things, people and events.  The lyrical 'I' can no longer define its identity from himself so that the discussion with outside things becomes an absolutely necessary pre-requisite for certainty within himself.  This principle becomes clear, above all in his volume, 'Torn Awake', where it says: "the question you were asking – Who am I – has become something different: What is there?". Already the opening poem ('The Hugeness of That Which is Missing') demonstrates the title, 'Torn Awake', with which the 'I' is always confronted in the search for himself.

© international literature festival berlin

[http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Literary_Arts/people/Forrest/index.html]