This compelling collaboration began in 2006 when award-winning poet Linda Nemec Foster first viewed the work of photographer Jacko Vassilev. His portfolio, “The Dance of Zlatio Zlatev,” appeared in Harper’s Magazine and gave visual testimony to the impoverished and marginalized people of Eastern Europe. Vassilev’s haunting portraits inspired Foster to write a sequence of poems, Ten Songs from Bulgaria, that was published by Cervena Barva Press in 2008. When Laz read Foster’s chapbook in 2011, he was immediately drawn to the poems as lyrics for songs, and began composing music for them: Cry of Freedom is the result of this partnership of art, poetry, and music.
Set to a wide range of music — rich ballads, quiet elegies, and expressive folk and blues tunes — and featuring guest performances by Brian Brill (keyboards), Peter Madcat Ruth (harmonica), and Helen Slomovits (flute) — these powerful poems-now-songs about people living on the edges of society, are witnesses to the common dignity of people everywhere.
Linda Nemec Foster’s award-winning poems have been published in nine books (including Amber Necklace from Gdansk and Talking Diamonds) and in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. From 2003-05, she served as the first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College.