Jeanne Foster is Professor Emerita at Saint Mary’s College of California. She also is a Unitarian Universalist minister. Born in Florida, she grew up in New Orleans and graduated with Honors from Tulane University. On a Woodrow Wilson scholarship, she studied with acclaimed process philosopher, Charles Hartshorne, and German Heideggerian, Karsten Harries, at the University of Texas in Austin. It was after she moved to Boston that she began to focus on creative writing at the Boston School for Adult Education.
At Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, she worked with Galway Kinnell and, while there, was persuaded to spend some time in Buffalo, where John Logan invited her to sit-in on his writing workshop. He also introduced her to James Wright, visiting one summer at the University of Buffalo, who became her primary mentor and a friend. From Buffalo she took a wide leap across the continent to Berkeley, where she received an M.Div. degree followed by a Ph.D. in Religion, Literature, and the Arts from the Graduate Theological Union. After six years as pastor in Modesto, she opted for a teaching career at Saint Mary’s.
She has published widely in journals, including Hudson Review, Paris Review, The Nation, Narrative, and APR. Her early poetry collection, A Blessing of Safe Travel, won the Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Award. Of a later collection, Goodbye, Silver Sister, Richard Tillinghast writes: Foster “makes a reader feel he is entering deep into what Yeats called ‘the labyrinth of another’s being.’”
On sabbatical in Italy, she had the good fortune to meet Bianca Tarozzi, Professor Emerita, the University of Verona, who translated a portion of this later book into Italian for Poesia. Foster is co-translator with Alan Williamson of The Living Theatre: Selected Poems of Bianca Tarozzi, which won the Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation. She has received grants from New York State Creative Artists Public Service Foundation, MacDowell, Saint Lawrence and Lannan Foundations and was Poet-in-Residence at Tulane University. Her passion is ballroom dancing, and, in particular, ballroom dancing in Tuscany.
Paperback: 78 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books (January 1, 2023)