Twice Alive

Longlist, National Book Awards 2021 for Poetry

ISBN 9780811230292
New Directions
Forrest Gander

Forrest Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up, for the most part, in Virginia. Trenchant periods of his life were spent in San Francisco; Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico; and Eureka Springs, Arkansas. With degrees in both geology and English literature, Gander is the author and translator of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and essays. (Photo credit: New Directions) More about this author >

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In the searing poems of his new collection, Twice Alive, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Forrest Gander addresses the exigencies of our historical moment and the intimacies, personal and environmental, that bind us to others and to the world. Drawing from his training in geology and his immersion in Sangam literary traditions, Gander invests these poems with an emotional intensity that illuminates our deep-tangled interrelations.

While conducting fieldwork with a celebrated mycologist, Gander links human intimacy with the transformative collaborations between species that compose lichens. Throughout Twice Alive, Gander addresses personal and ecological trauma—several poems focus on the devastation wrought by wildfires in California, where he lives—but his tone is overwhelmingly celebratory. Twice Alive is a book charged with exultation and tenderness.