Reviewed by Sima Rabinowitz for Dragonfire

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Disfamiliar: there couldn't be a more apt way to describe Gander's diction, his unique assemblage of scientific terms (the language of geology, botany, medicine), onomatopoetic renderings of animal sounds, uncommon, archaic and erudite words, phrases in Spanish, and neologisms, made-up words like 'disfamiliar' that rely on conventions they challenge to render them new or unknown and, at the same time, recognizable, which is to say familiar. 'Dis' stands in for 'un,' distancing us from what we know and expect, then drawing us nearer to a new understanding. Gander is demonstrating, quite literally, a fundamental truth of the finest poetry: it is not unfamiliar; it is exquisitely disfamiliar.