Forrest Gander is the winner of this year's Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He was born in California, has lived in Mexico, and taught at Brown University in Rhode Island. But he's always wanted to come home to California. Now, he's a full time resident of Petaluma, enjoying the beautiful setting of his home and the diversity of his neighbors.
Gander believes that interest in poetry is cyclical, and that we're living in a time of increasing attention to it, especially among young people, and despite society's fixation on "spectacle."
His prize-winning collection, Be With, is a book of elegies, a public mourning of recent losses. One set of verses is a loving portrait of his mother, who has Alzheimer's Disease. He read some of that for us:
(Image: Forrest Gander. Credit: ForrestGander.com)
The life-changing nature of the Pulitzer Prize is just setting in. Gander, 63, has been writing poetry since he was a teenager. He appreciates the recognition of his work, and the fact that it will find a wider audience now.
(Image: Forrest Gander and KRCB News Director Steve Mencher. Credit: Adia White)