Jennifer Foerster

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Jennifer Foerster
BornJennifer Elise Foerster
Notable worksLeaving Tulsa (2013)

Jennifer Elise Foerster is a Native American poet. A member of the Muscogee Nation, she has published two poetry books in addition to several journal publications. Her 2013 book Leaving Tulsa was a finalist for the shortlist of the 2014 PEN/Open Book Award.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Foerster's father was in the U.S. Air Force, so she has lived in many cities in the U.S. and Europe.[2] While she is now based in San Francisco, California, Foerster belongs to the Muscogee Nation, a Native American tribe located in Oklahoma.[3][4] She is of German and Dutch heritage.[4]

After being removed from their homeland, Foerster's ancestors settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where many family members still live. She would spend summers there with her grandparents.[2] She has been described as an "urban Indigenous woman poet", and considers her poetry to be an "attempt to find location in and among displacement".[5]


Foerster earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Master of Fine Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and PhD from the University of Denver.[1][3][4] She also has received fellowships,[6] including the NEA Creative Writing Fellowship (2017),[1][3] a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship (2014), a Robert Frost Fellow in Poetry at Breadloaf (2017), and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford (2008–2010).[7]


Foerster has received recognition for her writing through their inclusion in anthologies, including Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, an anthology focusing on Native American writers, New California Writing (2011), and Turtle Island to Abya Yala, which involves the recognition of native women.[4]

Other activities[edit]

Foerster co-directs For Girls Becoming, a program that fosters arts education and mentorships for women and girls of the Muscogee Nation.[4][8] She co-founded the organization with Joy Harjo-Sapulpa in June 2017.[8]


Her poetry works are:[3][6]

  • Leaving Tulsa (2013)
  • Bright Raft in the Afterweather (2018)


  1. ^ a b c "NEA Literature Fellowships: Jennifer Elise Foerster". National Endowment for the Arts. May 30, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b DeLaune, Darren (February 16, 2017). "Citizen shares her story". Mvskoke Media. Retrieved November 3, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Erdrich, Heid E. (September 10, 2018). New poets of Native nations. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press. ISBN 978-1-55597-809-9. Retrieved November 3, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Jennifer Elise Foerster". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ McGlennen, Molly (August 4, 2014). Creative alliances: The transnational designs of indigenous women's poetry. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 9780806144825. Retrieved November 3, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b Foerster, Jennifer (March 17, 2015). "Poet Jennifer Foerster". Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "About Jennifer". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "For Girls Becoming – an Arts Mentorship Program for Young Mvskoke Women – Native Arts and Cultures Foundation". Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. August 30, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.