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Necessary Strangerby Graham Foust
Foust's poems are built with quiet and contemplative building blocks that are nearly see-through enough to reveal the barest intentions behind their words. He uses repeated phrasing not for dramatic effect but instead to slow things down into a microscopic beauty that is both odd and expansive. This book is a simple but mysterious island.
Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. Graham Foust's third book offers agile poems of dread and humor. Robert Creeley writes, "These poems move in close to luxuriant circles, round and round each particular syllable, neither hurrying nor dragging behind--just there. At times there seems an almost physical presence to them, a third dimension, which is substance." Foust is also the author of AS IN EVERY DEAFNESS and LEAVE THE ROOM TO ITSELF, available from SPD. He teaches Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California.
"In his intense, hip, ironic and subtly humorous third book, Foust (Leave the Room to Itself) takes a look at ideas and things that distort one's view of the world at hand: pop culture, consumerism, poetic tradition, emotions and language itself all interrupt these poem like trees blocking a view of the mountains, or, more accurately, skyscrapers blocking a view of the trees. What's left is the 'Barest Gist' — as Foust calls one poem — of what's there. Beauty is tweaked by a contemporary America populated by irreconcilable opposites. In a love poem called 'Google,' 'A dead bag commutes/ between the street/ and the trees.' Hauntingly, things aren't what they seem, or even what they should be: 'What I take to be/ the stuffing from/ a toy/ animal isn't,' and '...the sky/ above a prison is a lie.' Often writing in jagged couplets and tercets, but also moving through a host of poetic forms and high and popular cultural references — there's a sonnet, a pantoum, a haiku and poems that wink at Frank O'Hara and the '90s rock band Pavement — Foust catalogues the contents of an oversaturated mind in 52 short, jumpy poems, always in search of some remnant of the real thing: 'I wonder// how much per sway/ is the wind worth today/ in these trees?'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Graham Foust was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The author of four books of poetry, including NECESSARY STRANGER (Flood Editions, 2007), he lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and son and teaches at Saint Mary's College of California.
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