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Richard Foerster

Poet
York Beach, Maine, USA 
Camargo Foundation Fellowship: 1999 - Winter-Spring

Project: Writing new poems, revising existing ones, and organizing them into an appropriate sequence for a fourth book with the working title Cutting Losses. The collection takes up the theme with which Foerster's third book, Trilium, ended: namely, the lifelong challenge people face to find the "healing words" by which they can recover the past and absolve themselves of prior losses—both emotional and physical—that otherwise would prevent them from engaging the future with self-determination and a sense of spiritual wholeness. The poems probe (in a manner suggested by Marcus Aurelius in Meditations III:11) such diverse objects and phenomena as family photographs, a sterile wisteria vine, a tattoo, a spawn of catfish, a shed snakeskin, and a bottle of Château d'Yquem to uncover their hidden resonant energies. The poems are written as tightly controlled free verse, employing many formal strategies, such as syllabics, internal rhymes, and accentual lines.