The Remaining Ingredients

Ellen FoosTHE BOOK: The Remaining Ingredients.


  Ellen Foos

: n/a.

THE PUBLISHER: Ragged Sky Press, an  independent, cooperative press.

SUMMARY: This is the second collection of poetry by Ellen Foos.

THE BACK STORY: These poems represent the past ten years of work.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The title comes from a line in one of the poems. It reflects my love/hate relationship with cooking.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Poetry readers who already know my work or know about Ragged Sky will want this book. The cover and quotes are very appealing so someone might buy it on that basis.


“In her new collection of poems, The Remaining Ingredients, Ellen Foos takes on the challenges, frustrations and, ultimately, joys of ‘marrying and adopting / in one giant late-middle-age swoop.’ And that’s just the beginning of a wide-ranging perspective that she offers, with reflections on humanity’s incongruities, death’s inevitability, family roots and enduring ties, old friendships, and so much more. The poems are rendered masterfully with plain-spoken candor—some graced with a gentle but insistent social consciousness and others with a touch of soft-spoken humor. Having attained a lifetime of varied experience, Foos knows, ‘It’s okay to stir instead of shake / the remaining ingredients.’”—James Keane, author of What Comes Next

 “A careful noticing enriches these poems. There is awe at the ordinary, ‘held aloft / by the grace of unconcern.’ Joy rises at the embracing of new life, from within and without.  Alongside is yearning, of being ‘wrinkled with expectation.’  Deft observations of our society are freely sprinkled in…as are insights, gently realized, that feel like home truths.  The ingredients Ellen Foos offers taste like real food.  —Wayne LeBlanc

E: Ellen Foos is a senior production editor for Princeton University Press and the publisher of Ragged Sky Press. She has received fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center. She coedited Dark as a Hazel Eye: Coffee & Chocolate Poems and Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems. Her own poems are gathered in Little Knitted Sister and have also appeared in Mead, The Curator, Edison Literary Review, and Contemporary American Voices.

AUTHOR COMMENTS. I hope to reach common ground with the reader so we both discover something new in what could be an everyday experience.


Side Yard

When we tired of the backyard

there was the side yard,

accessory to our crimes,

a hideout, a conduit for racing

full circle around the house.

The best place to backtrack

when being pursued.

Lilac trees on the side

had a shaggy look.

It was easy to peek

into basement windows.

The neighbors were close

but never onto us.

Corner lots expanded blandly,

we had two sharp corridors.

Here’s why I left New York City,

no side yard.

Who speaks of

the White House lawn

and thinks side yard?

When I lost my father,

I thought how it changed me,

the side yard I’ll never visit again,

the ladder he stored there.

When I lost my father,

I thought how it changed me,

the side yard I’ll never visit again,

the ladder he stored there.

 From The Remaining Ingredients, copyright 2016 by Ellen Foos. Do not copy or distribute in any form without express permission of the author.


WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

PRICE: $15.00


Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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