The Unexploded Ordnance Bin

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An ENTROPY “Best Book of 2019” and SPD-recommended book.

Featured on Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown on 2/5/20,

2020 Poetry By the Sea Book prize Runner-Up and 2020 Julie Suk book prize longlist finalist.

Reviews and Features:

Lawrence Tjernell,

Lorna Knowles Blake, for Rhino

Susan Gunter for the Harvard Review…/the-unexploded-ordnance-bin/

Lisa C. Taylor for Mom Egg Review

Mike Northern, Word Gathering and Goodreads,

Sian Killingsworth, Poetry Café,   

Bob Wake,

Paradise Drive
Available at Press 53

“There is great music in these poems, and sonnet after sonnet is masterful. Not since Berryman’s Henry have I been so engaged by a persona: Pilgrim, who ‘like most of we’ is good and bad, hapless sometimes, other times approaching wisdom, always sending deeper and deeper her primary roots.” — Thomas Lux

“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. 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.” — Molly Peacock

“Foust does it: she reinvents the sonnet form, making it a unit of expression again, not a museum piece sitting on its plinth, forlornly wishing we’d quit paying homage to it. She strews the individual poems with savagely sparkling jewels of satire, insight, and wit. This is a masterful book, yes, and also a great deal of fun to read.” — James Cummins

“The poetry is witty and surprisingly engaging, as if Sylvia Plath had been crossed with the humorist Erma Bombeck, who pioneered a woman talking openly of her working class origins.” Thompson, N.S. “The Motionless Pilgrim.” Times Literary Supplement. June 2016.

“Bay Area Poet Rebecca Foust emerges as an original voice in contemporary poetry.” Diana Whitney. “Poetry: John Burnside, Jane Hirshfield, Rebecca Foust, Deborah Landau.” San Francisco Chronicle. July 2015.

“The counterpoint of authentic sentiment and a kind of Augustan wit in – think Pope and Dryden, but also Juvenal – is quite original.” Wilson, Frank. “Paradise Drive: In the Lap of Plenty, Wishing for Better.” Philadelphia Inquirer. November 2015. 

“Foust’s language makes me think of Nabokov and how dark and light he can be in the same phrase.” Rader, Dean. “Thou Hast Thy Music Too: Three books for Autumn.” Huffington Post. December 2017.

“This book proves that the record of humankind will be found in poetry. It is funny and compelling. It aches with truth.” Cavalieri, Grace. “April 2015 Exemplars: National Poetry Month’s Best Picks.” Washington Independent Review of Books. April 2015.

“A bravura composition, poems packed with compelling images.” Berman, Barbara. “National Poetry Month Picks.” Rumpus. April 2015.

“Foust’s command of allegory, her range of sonnets, and her examinations of self and society result in a compelling and timely collection.” Tavel, Adam. Book review. The Georgia Review. Fall 2015.

Foust’s language is compelling; her skill and craft authoritative and assured. It would be hard not to read this collection through in one sitting.” —Blake, Lorna Knowels. “Review of Paradise Drive by Rebecca Foust, The Bus Driver’s Threnody by Michael Spence, and To Forget Venice by Peg Boyers.” Hudson Review. Spring 2015.

“Paradise Drive is an ambitious and stunning work.” Logsdin, Rich. Poet Lore. Vol. 110 No. 3/4 Fall 2015 .

“Foust’s quite considerable accomplishment is to have written a book that is vivacious and filled with snark while almost never losing sight of an underlying seriousness.” Rossi, Lee. “Rebecca Foust: Paradise Drive.” Smartish Pace.  July 29, 2015.

“What made Chaucer relevant to his time is what makes Foust relevant and compelling for us today: keen attention to craft; courage to wrestle with serious themes; and a humor that both betrays and saves us.” McClatchey, M. B. “Paradise Drive by Rebecca Foust.” The Collagist. April 2015.

“Neither confession nor caricature, Foust’s tale of her Pilgrim’s progress is both specific to the speaker’s time and place, and yet universal, emotionally painful and, in places, completely hilarious.” Gray Jr., Elizabeth.  “Review of Paradise Drive,” Harvard Review. March 31, 2016.

“Foust has achieved something remarkable here. We saw it in earlier books: a consummate craft that does not intrude.” Woodword, Anne Harding. “Anne Harding Woodword on Rebecca Foust,” Innisfree Poetry Journal. Issue 22.

“Rebecca Foust strings more than eighty [sonnets] together in this biting, rhythmically haunting collection.” Sutherland, Matt. “Fables, Spirits, and How Not to Lose Your Head to Poetry.” Foreword Review Magazine. Fall 2015.

“Vaguely reminiscent of Dorothy Parker’s darkly brilliant “Resumé.” Clarke, Brooke. Review of Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or and Paradise Drive. Able Muse Review. Winter 2017, No. 24.


God, Seed (Tebot Bach Press 2010)

God, Seed is a book of environmental poetry with art by local artist Lorna Stevens.

God, Seed is lyrical, intense, and concerned with issues of our planet’s survival. Foust has a fierce yet loving attitude towards nature and human nature. Many of Foust’s luminous, insightful poems are paired with paintings by gifted artist Lorna Stevens. This is a book to read and treasure.” — Susan Terris

God, Seed, a beautiful mix of words and images…light and deep. Good for the eye, mind and heart.” — William Wiley

“Spring is springing as I experience what the author and artist have given me and I am moved to recollect, in tranquility, as the poet said, all the infinite gifts I’ve received and might yet find in the glorious world, both human and otherwise. Rebecca Foust and Lorna Stevens are to be congratulated and profoundly thanked. Made my day. So, thanks, and more thanks.” — William Kittredge, author of Hole in the Sky, The Willow Field, and Owning It All and producer of A River Runs Through It.

Available at SPD Books, Powells Books, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores online.

All That Gorgeous, Pitiless Song 
(Many Mountains Moving Press, 2010)

All That Gorgeous, Pitiless Song brims with amplitude and vitality. By virtue of her unsentimental warmth of spirit, Foust brings to life an immense range of experience and feeling. This poet’s emotional intelligence correlates, too, with her formal skill, that unique talent for phrase and rhythm with which she makes a whole world palpable, from the hugest events that mark a life to those moments as subtle as ‘some nuance you knew once like breath.’ Rebecca Foust is a superb poet, and All That Gorgeous, Pitiless Song is a tremendous book.”  — Peter Campion

“Rebecca Foust moves us with passion and intelligence as she broods over what ‘divides false / from true.’ Her voice, attuned to beauty and hope though often engaged with the hard news of life, startles in its honest, unstinting inventiveness. She writes of generations, of hardscrabble origins, of striving against odds, of motherhood, nature, intimate triumphs and woes. This is poetry of the greatest promise, a book not to be missed.” — Barry Spacks

“I find the poems astonishingly strong and beautiful. It’s not common for me to find an unpublished collection of poems as good as this one.” — Susan Griffin

Available at SPD Books, Powells Books, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores online.

 Mom’s Canoe (Texas Review Press, 2009)

Mom’s Canoe presents poetry about the Allegheny Mountain Region of western Pennsylvania, “in all its splendor and grief.” — Matthew Lippman

Candy Plant. Paper Mill. Strip Mine. In Mom’s Canoe, Rebecca Foust recovers “each loved thing lost, sieved/ with bitter salt and ash.” She holds local myths, fossil records, family lore and memory to the brutal and compassionate light of poetry. — Robin Becker

Dark Card (Texas Review Press, 2008)

Dark Card explores themes related to raising a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild autism disorder.

“Fiercely smart and an absolute warrior, Foust’s intelligence and courage drive every difficult poem home.” — Molly Peacock

“These poems will break and heal your heart, their rage, hope, insight and love carried by a poetic power as targeted as a bullet-train.” — Barry Spacks