Forrest Gander on Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, and Dubuffet (2013)

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For the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series 2013, Pulitzer Prize finalist Forrest Gander read at the Phillips Collection on March 28, 2013. His readings was in response to Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio and Dubuffet--an exhibition exploring the artistic dialogue between the painter Jackson Pollock, artist and patron Alfonso Ossorio, and painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet. The Phillips Collection co-sponsored the reading; its curator Klaus Ottmann introduced Gander.

Forrest Gander

The poetry of Forrest Gander investigates intimate and exotic spaces in an emotional and physical terrain. Poet, translator, and essayist, Gander has written more than a dozen books, including collaborations with notable artists and photographers. His books Core Samples from the World, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Eye Against Eye (with photographs by Sally Mann), Torn Awake, and Science & Steepleflower; a novel; and an essay collection. He is a recipient of fellowships from the United States Artists, Library of Congress, the Whiting Foundation and two Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry. At the time of the reading he was a professor at Brown University.

Excerpts

From Photo Canto

                                                  . . .Now

sullen fog

                shutters the eye.  The rock
                                                   dissolves into glint,
                a blot of cryptic menace,

and shadows

                condense into a living blackness

where non-being stirs, where the swirl of unborn things,

                               like a nursery of spiders,

stirs beyond our senses.


From Eye Against Eye by Forrest Gander © 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, published by New Directions Books. Used with permission.