KNOT, MW Editions & Copper Canyon Press (2022)

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“These mesmerizing pages animate a choreography by two formidable artists given to the moods and immediacy of shadow and flesh. Forrest Gander’s magnificent, unflinching poetic self-contemplation holds a mirror to the living and the dead embodied in Jack Shear’s photographic anatomy of a male nude in voluptuous time and its entanglements.” —Roberto Tejada

“In Knot, Gander’s stirring poems converse probingly with Shear’s striking images, producing an art-text dialogue of the best kind: dynamic, mysterious, and haunting.”— John Keene


Tensile, erotic, enigmatic, Jack Shear’s cover photograph perfectly introduces a collaboration that, in our time of radical unsettlement, reorients us to shifting metaphors of awe, desire, and the human body. Like the Eleusinian Mysteries, these images and poems link the vivid, even ecstatic present to a shadowy suggestion of afterlife.


Jack Shear is a photographer, curator, and art collector living and working in Spencertown, NY. He previously collaborated with Anne Philbin on Drawn from Artists’ Collections, on view at The Drawing Center from Apr 24–Jun 12, 1999, and co-curated Twice Drawn at the Tang Teaching Museum with Director Ian Berry. Shear’s collection has previously been on view in the exhibition Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection at the Tang Teaching Museum. Most recently, his drawings were on view at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. His own photographs are in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Shear is also President of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, and serves on the Drawings & Prints Committee at the Museum of Modern Art.


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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