Jennifer Foerster

Board Member, Indigenous Nations Poets

Jennifer Elise Foerster received her PhD in English and Literary Arts at the University of Denver and her MFA from the Vermont College of the Fine Arts, and is an alumna of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, a grant from the Aninstantia Foundation, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford. Jennifer currently teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop and is the Literary Assistant to theU.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She is the author of two books of poetry, Leaving Tulsa (2013) and Bright Raft in the Afterweather (2018), both published by the University of Arizona Press, and served as the Associate Editor of the recently released When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. The daughter of an Air Force diplomat, Foerster grew up living internationally, is of European (German/Dutch) and Mvskoke descent, and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She lives in San Francisco.

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Publications

Bright Raft in the Afterweather

Genre: Poetry
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication Date: 2018

In her dazzling new book, Jennifer Elise Foerster announces a frightening new truth: “the continent is dismantling.” Bright Raft in the Afterweather travels the spheres of the past, present, future, and eternal time, exploring the fault lines that signal the break of humanity’s consciousness from the earth.

Featuring recurring characters, settings, and motifs from her previous book, Leaving Tulsa, Foerster takes the reader on a solitary journey to the edges of the continents of mind and time to discover what makes us human. Along the way, the author surveys the intersection between natural landscapes and the urban world, baring parallels to the conflicts between Native American peoples and Western colonizers, and considering how imagination and representation can both destroy and remake our worlds.

Foerster’s captivating language and evocative imagery immerse the reader in a narrative of disorientation and reintegration. Each poem blends Foerster’s refined use of language with a mythic and environmental lyricism as she explores themes of destruction, spirituality, loss, and remembrance. In a world wrought with ecological imbalance and grief, Foerster shows how from the devastated land of our alienation there is potential to reconnect to our origins and redefine the terms by which we inhabit humanity and the earth.

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