Rebecca Foust was the 2017-18 Poet Laureate of Marin County. Her fifth book, “Paradise Drive,” won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry and was reviewed in the Georgia Review, Hudson Review, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Review of Books, and elsewhere. Recognitions include the 2015 American Literary Review Award for Fiction, the 2015 James Hearst Poetry Prize, the 2014 Constance Rook Creative Nonfiction Award, and fellowships from the Frost Place, MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and West Chester Poetry Conference. “Paradise Drive” can be ordered at www.press53.com. For more information visit rebeccafoust.com.
Poetry

Poems by Jane Hirshfield

By Rebecca Foust
Each column (including these three on Jane Hirshfield, one of my all-time favorite contemporary poets) was an exciting discovery and a lesson, not just in craft, but also in the endurance and resilience of the human spirit.
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Poetry

“Death by Chocolate,” by Sandra Beasley

By Rebecca Foust
This poem draws attention to two convenient plot points. One is glibly introducing the death of a woman as a narrative catalyst; the other is the crisis of an anaphylactic reaction, invoked without any regard for the lived experience.
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Poetry

Ordinary Psalms
by Julia B. Levine

By Rebecca Foust
A major theme in 'Ordinary Psalms' is the speaker’s incipient loss of sight, a condition with rich metaphorical possibilities for the blindness of humanity in the abstract and also more concretely in recent American political cycles.
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Poetry

“In Line to Vote on Our Future Climate,” by Meg Day

By Rebecca Foust
The poem speaks from the present, when climate disaster is incipient but not yet realized, when we still “did not know to fear” the sun. It poses images of lushness and life against those of aridity and death, allowing readers to draw their own inevitable conclusions about what we hope for our planet.
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Poetry

[Mother’s Day]: “Dusk” by Tracy K. Smith

By Rebecca Foust
I chose “Dusk” by Tracy K. Smith for its frank expression of the double-edged sword that is motherhood (parenthood, really): We adore our children more than life itself, and if we do a good job of raising them, they one day will abandon us.
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Poetry

Annie Kim: “More Words for Snow”

By Rebecca Foust
Snow had fallen all throughout the manuscript, but I wasn’t done. I wanted more. I wanted to understand why this stuff coming down from the sky had such a hold on me, how it could be at once cruel and divine, corruptible and hope itself, both infinite and made to disappear.
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Poetry

Mahogany Browne: “When Fanny Lou Hamer said”

By Rebecca Foust
"When Fanny Lou Hamer said” champions the assertion of the most basic human and civil rights through means sanctioned by our Constitution: peaceful assembly and protest, voting, running for office, and the everyday radical acts of poetry, hope, and prayer.
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