Books by Rebecca Foust
Urgent from the outset, Rebecca Foust’s ONLY insists that the only thing worth writing about is everything. Prompted to confront what she does not know, the speaker lists, “Null. All. What’s after death or before.” This book scales the cliff-face of adulthood, that paradoxical ascent in which the longer we live the less we know of life, in which we find that each of us is only ourselves and yet delicately interconnected with everyone, everything, else. These candid lyrics ponder our broken political systems, family (dys)function and parenting challenges, divergent and intersecting identities, the complexities of sexuality and gender, natural refuge and climate catastrophe, and in general what it means to be human in a world that sometimes feels as if it is approaching apocalypse. At the ledge of this abyss, however, Foust reminds us of the staggering beauty of life, the legacies of survival in the echoes of care that outlast us: “I came / to the canyon rim and saw // how best to carry you: I let the stone go.”
The Unexploded Ordnance Bin
"The ticking is the bomb,” Nick Flynn says, and the idea of events from our genetic, cultural, historic, and experienced past—coiled and waiting to explode in our lives—lies at the core of this new collection, winner of the 2018 Swan Scythe Press Chapbook Contest founded by Sandra McPherson. THE UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE BIN poems ignite a long, sparking fuse about contemporary culture, society, and social justice issues now dividing family, community, and country.
In Rebecca Foust’s splendid book-length sonnet sequence, Paradise Drive, we come upon a Pilgrim contemplating the deadly sins while hiding out in the bathrooms at some of Marin County, California’s swankiest parties. As the Pilgrim swaggers into an idiosyncratic, believable, frail spirituality, her unmediated, un-medicated new life emerges. The sonnets of this new life are jagged, fresh, and formed in only the way a stunningly skilled poet can craft them. Foust drives her Keatsian sensibility straight into the 21st Century of terrorism and autism, divorce and yoga, soldiers and syringes, booze and valet parking, determined to prove that truth makes beauty. Not only is Paradise Drive a magnificent achievement, it’s a deep comfort as well. —Molly Peacock, author of The Second Blush: Poems