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Graham Foust

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Graham W. Foust (born August 25, 1970)[1] is an American poet and currently is an associate professor at the University of Denver.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Foust was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.[3][4] He has a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Beloit College, a Master of Fine Arts from George Mason University, and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Buffalo.[1][5]


Foust teaches contemporary poetry in both an English literature and creative writing context.[6] From 1998 to 2000, Foust, along with Benjamin Friedlander, co-edited Lagniappe, an online journal devoted to poetry and poetics.[7][8] From 2002 to 2005, Foust was a professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa;[9] he is presently an associate professor at the University of Denver.[2]


What part of
"What part of no
don’t you understand?"

don’t you understand…

—"Poem with Television"[10]

Foust has written six full collections of poetry; As in Every Deafness (Flood Editions, 2003),[11][12] Leave the Room to Itself (Ahsahta Press, 2004), Necessary Stranger (Flood Editions, 2007), A Mouth in California (Flood Editions, 2009), To Anacreon In Heaven (Flood Editions, 2013), and "Time Down to Mind" (Flood Editions, 2015).[13]

He most recently published a collection of translations from German, in collaboration with Samuel Frederick, of Ernst Meister's later poems titled In Time's Rift [Im Zeitspalt], through Wave Books in September, 2012.[14]


You don’t lust
for what you
want. You lust
for what you

can get.

—"Poem With Rules and Laws"[10]

Three of Foust's poems were featured in the winter 2009 (volume 43, issue 1) edition of The Laurel Review: The Only Poem, Promotional, and Frost at Midnight. Foust's work was also chosen by Robert Creeley for the Beyond Arcadia issue of Conjunctions.[15]

David Pavelich believes Foust's poetry to be "a unique blend of whisper and raw humor, darkness and economy of thought".[15] Foust's third book, Necessary Stranger, was described as "intense, hip, ironic and subtly humorous" in Publishers Weekly,[16] and in December 2007 reached third place on the small-press poetry best-seller list.[17] His fourth book, A Mouth in California, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which noted that Foust had "achieved a wide reputation in and beyond experimental poetry circles for his clipped, breathless poems, often no longer than one or two haiku, but packing an intimate punch that belies their length."[18]

Foust has cited Rae Armantrout as an influence; Armantrout pronounced herself "quite pleased" with that, saying she was "very fond of [Foust's] work", but considered Foust to have a distinctive style: "Foust's poems are minimalist, yes, more so than mine, in fact, but his sensibility is very much his own."[19] A review of A Mouth in California in the Oxonian Review characterised Foust's work as "bleak, funny, curt, and self-effacing", informed by the understanding that "everyday speech, set slightly out of joint or context, can deliver both personal and collective revelation. [...] Foust [...] doesn’t take himself too seriously, yet he’s a seriously good poet. [...] And best of all, Foust is subtle."[20]


  • Nightingalelessness (Flood Editions, 2018)
  • Time Down to Mind (Flood Editions, 2015)
  • Of Entirety Say the Sentence, poems by Ernst Meister, co-translated with Samuel Frederick (Wave Books, 2015)
  • Wallless Space, poems by Ernst Meister, co-translated with Samuel Frederick (Wave Books, 2014)
  • To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems (Flood Editions, 2013)
  • In Time's Rift [Im Zeitspalt] poems by Ernst Meister, co-translated with Samuel Frederick (Wave Books, 2012)
  • A Mouth In California (Flood Editions, 2009)
  • Necessary Stranger (Flood Editions, 2007)
  • As in Every Deafness (Flood Editions, 2003)
  • Leave the Room to Itself (Ahsahta, 2003)


  1. ^ a b Brett Fletcher Lauer; Aimee Kelley (1 November 2004). Isn't it romantic: 100 love poems by younger American poets. Verse Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-9746353-1-6. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Graham Foust". Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  3. ^ Colorado State University. Dept. of English (2007). Colorado review. Colorado State University. p. 187. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  4. ^ Mlinko, Ange (April 12, 2010). "Gramaphoons". The Nation. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Messerli, Douglas (July 5, 2010). "Graham Foust". The PIP (Project for Innovative Poetry) Blog. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  6. ^ Joshua Marie Wilkinson (28 August 2010). Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook. University of Iowa Press. pp. 102–104. ISBN 978-1-58729-904-9. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  7. ^ Romana Huk (2003). Assembling alternatives: reading postmodern poetries transnationally. Wesleyan University Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-8195-6540-2. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Lagniappe – poetry and poetics in review". Lagniappe. Retrieved 7 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Pusateri, Chris (February 2004). "Chris Pusateri reviews Leave the Room to Itself, by Graham Foust". Jacket. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  10. ^ a b From Graham Foust, A Mouth in California (2009), cited in: Stephen Ross (28 June 2010). "A Foustian Bargain". Oxonian Review. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ Jullich, Jeffrey (December 2004 – January 2005). "Microreviews – As In Every Deafness". Boston Review. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  12. ^ Kasten, Susan (Fall 2003). "Beloit Bookshelf – As In Every Deafness". Beloit College Magazine. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  13. ^ Staff (March 15, 2011). "Caution: Flashing Words Ahead As Poets Jeff Friedman, Graham Foust, and Stefene Russell Visit Observable Readings on Monday, April 4". St. Louis Poetry Center. Retrieved January 6, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Staff. "In Time's Rift (Im Zeitspalt)". Wave Poetry. Retrieved January 6, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ a b Profile by David Pavelich, chicagopostmodernpoetry.com
  16. ^ "Fiction review: Necessary Stranger – Graham W. Foust / Author". Publishers Weekly. 22 January 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  17. ^ Dwight Garner (27 January 2008). "Inside the List". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Fiction review: A Mouth in California – Graham W. Foust / Author". Publishers Weekly. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  19. ^ Christina Mengert; Joshua Marie Wilkinson (16 April 2009). 12 x 12: conversations in 21st-century poetry and poetics. University of Iowa Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-1-58729-791-5. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  20. ^ Stephen Ross (28 June 2010). "A Foustian Bargain". Oxonian Review. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

External links[edit]