Graham Foust is the author of several collections of poetry, including A Mouth in California (Flood Editions, 2009) and To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems (Flood Editions, April 2013). He teaches at the University of Denver. With Samuel Frederick, he has translated three volumes of poetry by Ernst Meister, including In Time’s Rift (Wave Books, 2012), Wallless Space (Wave Books, 2014), which was shortlisted for ALTA's National Poetry in Translation Award, and Of Entirety Say the Sentence (Wave Books, 2015). He has most recently translated Meister's Uncollected Later Poems 1968-1979 (forthcoming, November 2023).
Like Stevens, Foust writes intricate poems that explore a world from which meaning has departed; the poet seeks to restore it, however tentatively, through the powers of artifice…Foust’s echoes and borrowings feel less like modernist literary allusion and more like covers, or misremembered lyrics, tracking the daily, demotic ways that language passes through us, only very briefly ours.
Ben Lerner, Harper’s Magazine
Foust’s poems are fragmentary, hushed, and stripped down, they radiate lushness.
Sandra Lim, Boston Review
Foust has 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...Commenting on contemporary American life without explicitly describing it, Foust remains a poet to watch.
Poetry translation is such tricky and unappreciated work—“translation is impossible,” Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick declare in their introduction to a volume of Ernst Meister's work in which they've performed that exact miracle.
Arielle Greenberg, American Poetry Review
The translators of Wallless Space were brave to take on Meister’s dense and unusual poetry, and so far their work has been excellent. … Foust and Frederick have preserved the phonetic elements of Meister’s verse—assonance, alliteration, rhyme, anaphora—without sacrificing the poet’s distilled diction and powerfully short dimeter and trimeter lines.
Christopher Shannon, Words without Borders
With precision, Foust and Frederick intone Meister’s philosophical and poetic torque, dialing in on the underlying struggle: the elusive, expanding surplus of time; the baffling dissonance keyed into life.
Douglas Piccinnini, The Volta
Meister's poetry, very often, seems to be composed of small words, short ones, shaped by only a few letters – but the short words are not necessarily suitable to be spoken quickly, in passing, rather they obstruct fast reading, they seem to become long words, they expand.
Peter Waterhouse, a Perimeter
Reviews of books translated by Graham Foust
Of Entirety Say the Sentence
In Time's Rift
- Graham Foust's faculty page at University of Denver
- Pictures from Graham Foust's visit to the Ernst Meister archives: Part 1 and Part 2
Poems in translation
- Poem by Ernst Meister (at the Academy of American Poets)
- “Remainers” (in Harper’s Magazine)
- “They Will Sew the Blue Sail” (in the Volta)
- “Slave (Jagger/Richards)” (in the Boston Review)
- “The Good Historian” (in the Boston Review)
- “Babel” (in A Public Space)
- Four poems (in Shampoo)
- “Found Poems” (in Noo)
- “Politics” (in Nothing to Say & Saying It)
- “Everyone's Juvenilia” (in Jubilat)
- Frontier Psychiatrist, with Gina Myers
- Studio One, with Paul Ebenkamp
- “Listening to Poetry: Jack Spicer and the fiftieth-anniversary issue of Poetry” (in Jacket Magazine)
- Reading with Mary Jo Bang for the Center of the Art of Translation
Graham Foust and Samuel Frederick read from their translation of Ernst Meister at the Henry Art Gallery, during the 2011 3 Days of Poetry: Poetry in Translation festival:
Reading at UC Berkeley for their Lunch Poems series: