Drawing from his experience as a translator, 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.
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 is 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 National Endowment for the Arts and 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.