The Secret is Out and It’s Fun

By Kai Rambow


Do you remember studying poetry in school?  “No,” was a frequent response. “Didn’t like it,” replied others. If only we’d been taught that poetry can be fun.

John Foster has just finished his latest poetry book, A Gesture of Words, with plenty of wit and humor.  It’s a pleasure to read, and readers can learn about how to compose their own poetry with a wide variety of forms from 10 countries including Wales, Italy, France, Myanmar, Malaysia and Japan.

Exemplifying learning new skills, Foster started writing poetry at 75.  While he had written light stuff over the years for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, Foster became “serious” during his retirement.  Serious is in quotation marks because so much of his work is witty and fun.

Curiosity led to Foster entering a library poetry contest entitled, Wit Lit.  Foster didn’t place, but got such a kick out it and sharing with others, he decided to learn more about poetry.

Foster educated himself online, wrote poetry and posted it online at “worldofpoets.”  Here poets from around the country would share their feedback.  After six months, some suggested to Foster that he publish his poems.

Since then Foster joined several poetry groups, authored four poetry books, won numerous contests and was appointed a national poetry judge.  He has also given workshops and served as a designated reader for winning poets who are unable to be present.  Closer to home, Foster is frequently asked to present his work to groups here.

“I discovered so many interesting and exotic forms that I wanted to create a book suggesting to the reader that poetry can be so much more than rhyming stanzas and free verse,” enthuses Foster. His book already has a testimonial from Peter Meinke, the Poet Laureate of Florida. Bet you didn’t know we had one.

You don’t read this type of book in one sitting. You read, you laugh, you digest it and return later for another nibble. This is fun for you and makes a great gift for others. A Gesture of Words may be purchased at or to obtain a signed copy contact John Foster at “”.

Foster will be delivering a presentation on his book followed by a book signing on Sunday, January 15 at 2 p.m. in the Community Room at the SouthShore Library.