Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: “Be With” by Forrest Gander

The 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry was awarded to the collection Be With by Forrest Gander. It’s one of the most unusual collections of poetry I’ve ever encountered; I’ve read it three times now and each time it seems a different book.

Be With is a collection of different kinds and forms of poetry. Itis less a collection of poems than it is meditations upon the personal and the intimate, even when it talks about things that’s aren’t personal or intimate. It is a collection of poetry that is about the beauty of language, and how beauty and language can be used to describe and evoke profoundly deep feelings.

The collection officially contains 18 poems. Many of those poems are themselves collections of poems that could easily stand on their own. But grouped together, they become poems telling stories – of caring for an aging mother, of chasing personal demons, of a love relationship, of a border crossing (mostly illegal), and of interpreting a series of black-and-white photographs. 

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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