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Forrest Gander with Cole Swensen and Patricio Ferrari


We're honored to welcome poet, novelist, and translator Forrest Gander, to read from his new book Be With, alongside poets Cole Swensen and Patricio Ferrari.

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.”

Forrest Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up in Virginia. With degrees in both geology and English literature, Gander is the author of numerous books of poetry, translation, fiction, and essays, and his 2011 collection Core Samples from the World was an NBCC and Pulitzer Price finalist for poetry. The recipient of grants from the Library of Congress and the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting, and United States Artists Foundations, he taught for many years as the AK Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University. He lives in Petaluma, California.

Cole Swensen is the author of 17 volumes of poetry, most recently On Walking On and a volume of critical essays. Her books have won the Iowa Poetry Prize, the SF State Poetry Center Book Award, and the National Poetry Series and have been finalists once for the National Book Award and twice for the LA Times Book Award. She’s the co-editor of the Norton Anthology American Hybrid and the founding editor of La Presse, a nano-press dedicated to contemporary French poetry in translation. A translator herself, her translation of Jean Fremon’s Island of the Dead won the PEN USA Translation Award. She divides her time between Paris and Providence, where she teaches at Brown University.

Argentinian-born Patricio Ferrari has translated poetry from French (Alejandra Pizarnik), Portuguese (Fernando Pessoa, António Osório), English (Frank Stanford, Laynie Browne), and Hindi (Vidrohi). A polyglot, his work as a poet, editor, and translator bridges a life between languages. Recently he edited and co-translated (with Forrest Gander) The Galloping Hour: French Poems by Alejandra Pizarnik. Ferrari resides in New York City and teaches at Rutgers University, while serving as President of San Patricio Language Institute (Merlo, Argentina) and pursuing a collaboration with the Endangered Language Alliance, a non-profit organization focused on the linguistic diversity of urban areas throughout the world.

Earlier Event: November 7
Book Club Meeting
Later Event: November 15
Thomas M. Hanna