Bright Raft in the Afterweather
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.
“We are adrift in mythic waters that hold the possibility of rebirth even as they float the remains of human destruction. We could be in San Francisco, within the mythos of a painter’s creation, or walking a Greek island with time. Wherever we are in the poems, islands rise up of tremendous linguistic beauty, rendering hope from songs. The book is a bird flown free in the power of the winds.”—Joy Harjo
“Pick this book’s dark pages—befriend it—and you’ll come to know Jennifer Foerster’s second collection as a particularly strong chronicle of ontological strain. It’s everywhere at once and also singular, very like the world it finds itself in and about. And what it enables its fortunate readers to access is not the satisfaction of so-called closure, but rather the rush and the precariousness of connection, the act, as Wallace Stevens says, ‘of finding / What will suffice.’”—Graham Foust
“Here is a language that adjusts to—is touched and changed by—the details and registers of its worlds. I think of the dilating eye, the body interpreting light, and so, scene by scene and sense by sense, becoming. In particular, Jennifer Elise Foerster’s precise and gorgeously strange, original diction is a site or result of this unending shifting. This empathic, lucid work flickers with the knowledge that under this word (place) is another word (place), evoking wonder and gratitude. ‘[W]alk into the greenly singular, singing / the long sight line,’ she writes, and makes me remember that to read poetry is to read more than language; it is to read a body, a place, a world.”—Aracelis Girmay
“Merging the poetic with the prophetic, Foerster offers a startling vision of how to navigate this broken world and its resilient beauty.”—Rigoberto González