Richard Foerster was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of German immigrants, and holds degrees in English literature from Fordham College and the University of Virginia. He is the author of seven poetry collections: Sudden Harbor (1992) and Patterns of Descent (1993), published by Orchises Press; Trillium (1998), Double Going (2002), and The Burning of Troy (2006), published by BOA Editions; and Penetralia (2011) and River Road (2015), published by Texas Review Press. In Spring 2019, Tiger Bark Press will publish his volume of new and selected poems, Boy on a Doorstep.
Foerster has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, and two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships—as well as two Maine Literary Awards for Poetry. Since the 1970s, his work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, and Poetry.
He has worked as a lexicographer, educational writer, typesetter, teacher, and editor of the literary magazines Chelsea and Chautauqua Literary Journal. For the last 32 years, he has lived on the coast of southern Maine.