Forrest Gander | December 7, 2012

Forrest Gander 

1.    Where are you now? 

 I’m in my office at Brown, just after a reading by the Canadian writer and translator Erin Moure, looking at your email as the last of the day’s light thunks through the window onto my rock collection.


2.    What are you working on and what have you got coming out?

What’s just out are two books: Watchword, poems by Pura López Colomé. This book won the Villaurrutia Prize, Mexico’s Pulitzer. And Redstart: An Ecological Poetics, a mixed genre collaboration with Australian poet John Kinsella. I’m at work on a big anthology, 15 Essential Poems from Latin America, selected by Raúl Zurita. And I’ve enlisted some hot Japanese translators to help me put together Alice, Iris, Red Horse: Selected Poems by the great avant-garde poet Gozo Yoshimasu (


3.    Where do you write?

Almost exclusively at my desk in the barn at home. Where I never, fucking alas, am.


4.    What’s the last best thing you’ve read?

Have you ever read a book so astonishing, so unforeseeable and breathtaking that you hesitated to tell everyone about it? Maybe once every twenty years, right? I just read one. (Published in German in 1945, mixed genre). But I only want to share it at the intimate level. Otherwise, and really good: Kurt Beals’ translation of Anja Utler, Engulf- Enkindle. Dan Beachy-Quick’s Circle’s Apprentice. Elizabeth Robinson’s Counterpart. And Lucas Klein’s translation of Xi Chuan, Notes on the Mosquito.


5.    What journals, poets, presses have you discovered lately?

 Asymptote is my favorite online journal. It’s edited by a bunch of youngbloods who can really sniff out great work from all over the world. Favorite print journal is Lana Turner: a Journal of Poetry and Opinion. Stonecutter is terrific. I’m also always eating up Mandorla whenever a new issue comes out. Presses. Terrific poetry titles coming out steadily from OmniDawn, Nightboat, Ahsahta, Action Books. And they always feel like discoveries.


6.    Care to share any distractions / diversions?

Those who haven’t ever seen, live, the post-butoh movement artists Eiko & Koma are missing something extraordinary and unforgettable. You can get the barest (and still electrifying) idea of what they do at their website:


7.    What are you looking forward to?

The Mexican poet Coral Bracho says it for me:


“give me a wafer of time; the flickering

and flaking ember of time; its exultant

core; its fire, the echo

under the deepened labyrinth.”


I haven’t written anything of my own for too long and I look forward to that holy wafer—-




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