Be With, New Directions

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“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. Gander has been called one of our most formally restless poets, and these new poems express a characteristically tensile energy and, as one critic noted, “‘the most eclectic diction since Hart Crane.’”

Long-listed for The National Book Award




On Books by Forrest Gander:

A complex reading experience punctuated by intense beauty— Washington Post Book World

One answer to the way death 'constructs silence' is to believe, as does Gander, that the soul is 'multilingual in the same tongue.' His trinity of natural science, spirit, and language tempts us to believe it's so. —The Colorado Review

Forrest Gander is insistently, often gorgeously, a poet of space—the spaces of landscape and geology, the spaces of erotic and patrilineal bodies, and the spaces among and inside the words on the page of a poem . . . . If Gander’s philosophical strain and flamboyant lingo suggest Wallace Stevens, and his conversance with science and his stress on the “ongoing” recall A. R. Ammons, he insinuates a knotty, digressive intensity that is fully his own. —Book Forum

Gander has always been an innovative poet, and one deeply concerned with the events, and languages, beyond America's borders…. he brings the world's frightening and beautiful strangeness far beyond the edge of the page.—Oprah