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Core Samples from the World Paperback – June 8, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Gander pays attention to nuance. He sees collaborations between the world and self as ethical questions. (Grace Cavalieri - Washington Independent Book Review)

In Core Samples Gander burrows into the particularities of disparate places and cultures in order to sound the differences between them. His work moves across forms and modes, reminding us that writing is an action, a process of creation, itself a form of traveling. (Boston Review)

Gander has always been an innovative poet, and one deeply concerned with the events, and languages, beyond America’s borders.  In this, certainly his most accessible, and possibly his most powerful, book, he brings the world’s frightening and beautiful strangeness far beyond the edge of the page.

(Craig Morgan Teicher - Critical Mass)

Each section opens with a complex, disorienting poem that re-creates the traveler’s experience of being in a place where things don’t quite make sense. Then Gander shares stories of things he has seen or heard of. He records his observations as he travels with other writers and exchanges ideas about poetry’s ability to transcend borders. The reader is constantly surprised by what comes next ― such as a side trip to Utopia, Va. ― and begins to crave the interruptions, which add freshness and energy to the work

(The Washington Post)

About the Author

Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and has degrees in geology and English literature.  His recent books include the novel As a Friend and the translation Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho (PEN Translation Prize Finalist), both from New Directions.  A United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, Gander is recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim, Howard, and Whiting foundations. He is the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Reprint edition (June 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811218872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811218870
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hamilton Donald on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having never read Gander before, I discovered an excitingly beautiful, and beautifully exciting, quiet world overflowing from between the covers. I found myself exposed to a beauty that inspires long pauses for reflection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Forest Gander's work is difficult, but if you let your mind make the connection between the lines that seemingly go in different directions you find that breathless center that lies behind everyday life.
His Haibun captured the humor of travel and the pathos of poverty.
This book was a good read
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