Devizes poet Gail Foster launches new book


THE mighty All Blacks, cars with flat batteries, the changing of the seasons, politics and fawning your baby have nothing in common except they’re all themes of poems by Devizes own Gail Foster, and I’m only scratching the surface.

The local poet who regularly features on Devizes gem of a radio station, Fantasy FM, reaches in for arbitrary muses, exposes feelings swishing around in her mind and throws them into a melting pot of wordplay where no man or beast is safe. Gritty, leftism and unconventional elegies, but often witty and comical, Gail’s words express current thoughts with passion.

Local themes dominate her poems, tales of Devizes, other surrounding towns and the bizarre characters that dwell there. But Gail branches out and subjects flood in on all manner of topics. Best thing about these snippets and satires of modern life is that Gail has collated them all into a new book; The Curious Poet.

The year’s worth of words is available from the wonderful Devizes Books, which takes an encouraging and supportive view of local authors. I suggest you check it out, A; if you like poetry, B; if, like me, poems are something that drift through your life without too much dedication but appreciation nonetheless. It makes an interesting read.

Sweet but sour, stalking environmental issues or social networking qualms, Gail takes no prisoners whatever the theme. In particular denigrations of politicians or officials both locally and further afield, get the sharp end of Gail’s pen.

There’s excoriating or moral prose and muses with piercing observations; adult themes of sexual quirks and odes to lost loves, friends and inspirational luminaries from Howard Marks and Bowie; it’s all packed in.

There are proses and short stories here too; I particularly liked the cry-wolf fable of a destitute youth dealing with the consequences of defrauding to feed her addiction. The bleeding heart of the artist is prominent. However, the wittiest poems are usually the most entertaining. Gail’s outpourings are worthy of your attention and her repartee is highly recommended.

The Curious Poet by Gail Foster is available through Devizes Books and Amazon.

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I was born in the Fling Dynasty of a small planet known as Duncan in a galaxy far, far away. My humble parents, believing the planet was on the eve of destruction, sent me off as a baby in an egg-shaped craft and I landed here on planet Earth in the spring of 1973. I was later to discover through a cavern of ice, as you do, that the planet was fine all the time and it was just a particularly nasty prank by my father’s mates down the pub. I landed in a deep jungle and was raised by a company of wolves, learning to live as they did. Until one day when a naughty tiger with a very English accent came along and I was whisked away by a black panther and a jazz singing bear to a man-village. It wasn’t the tiger I was worried about; it was the American cartoon producer following on behind him. It was at the village that I won a golden ticket to visit a chocolate factory where I fell into a river made of chocolate and was sucked up a pipe into a fudge room; happy days. It could have been worse; I heard some other kid turned into an exploding blueberry. I lived at a coastal Inn for a while until an old sailor paid me a penny to look out for a legless seadog. In finding him I discovered a treasure map and was promptly whisked away by a sailor to a Caribbean island where I got into a bit of a rumble with some pirate radio DJ called Captain Tony Blackbeard. It was that or another holiday in Clacton. At eleven I was taken away by a man with an uncanny resemblance to actor and comedian Robbie Coltrane to a school for wizards where I had to battle it out with some bald blue bloke who killed my parents, said he was a lawyer working for an author called JK Rolling or something. That wasn’t as bad as the frog flavoured semolina we had to eat for school dinner. As I grew up and went to college I decided to give my favourite toys, a cowboy and a space ranger, away to a snotty girl from around the corner, nobody told me the cowboy was really Tom Hanks otherwise I would have given them away a lot sooner. So, other than the time I was bitten by a rare spider and found myself with special arachnid powers which I used to defeat an evil leprechaun, I left college and it was all very uneventful. Nowadays I have settled down to a family life and enjoy writing books, striving to be more like Bruce Bogtrotter every day. People say “where do you get your ideas from?” I tell them I have no idea, I've had such a boring, everyday life.

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