Core Samples from the World (Paperback)
A gorgeous, wide-ranging volume of poetry and essays by Forrest Gander, studded with the work of three great photographers.
Forrest Gander’s Core Samples from the World is a magnificent compendium of poetry, photography, and essay (a form of Japanese haibun). Collaborating with three acclaimed photographers, Gander explores tensions between the familiar and foreign. His eloquent new work voices an ethical concern for others, exploring empathic relations in which the world itself is fundamental. Taking us around the globe to China, Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Chile, Core Samples shows how Gander’s “sharp sense of place has made him the most earthly of our avant-garde, the best geographer of fleshly sites since Olson” (Donald Revell, The Colorado Review).
— 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