vocalisms #28: Forrest Gander


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

photo of Forrest Gander

Since 2014, the Hannelore Quander-Rattee Works-in-Translation Reading has brought renowned translators to the Poetry Center to present their work. Honoring the life of Tucson poet and translator Hannelore Quander-Rattee, the series has featured Geoffrey Brock, Fady Joudah, Marilyn Hacker, and Forrest Gander—sought-after for their poetry as well as their translations. In this track from 2017, Forrest Gander reads a piece by Mexican poet and translator Coral Bracho, first giving a fascinating introduction to the questions which pervaded his translation. “In translating [Bracho], it’s the sound that I’m really anxious to recover in some way in English,” he says. Gander succeeds in this effort: revel in the music of open o and u sounds throughout.