Bone Country

Cornerstone Press
University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
2023

Preorders are discounted from November 15, 2022 to March 15, 2023. To order, send an email to [email protected] and put Bone Country by Linda Nemec Foster in the subject line. In the body of the email, place your order and share your contact info.

Linda Nemec Foster’s collection of prose poems is a reflection of the world before COVID. All of the pieces are inspired by other parts of the world—Istanbul, Rome, Krakow, Prague, Vienna, Seville—not the familiar landscape of the United States. But, the narrator is definitely not a native of these countries; they are “the other,” “the foreigner,” the American with a distinct Midwest sensibility who is trying to make sense of a world on the brink of an unforeseen catastrophe. The world as we used to know it.

  • “…the voice of my grandmother…telling me that I was in my bone country…
    where only my heart would know the map.”

    from the prose poem, “Bone Country”

    read about this collection

Notable Reviews

“In Bone Country, Linda Nemec Foster’s fractured and melancholic travelogue, the poems (or micro-lyric essays) serve as such luscious and destabilizing portals through which the cities of our world are passed, emerging on the other side slick with luminescence—more amazing, more sad, holy, essential, and strange. These poems are magic tricks and ghostly reminders: missives from a not-so-distant, but unreachable past, from places that feel both ultra-real, and wildly imaginary. Not since I read Calvino’s Invisible Cities for the first time, or discovered the early films of Jim Jarmusch, have I felt the actual world so beautifully defamiliarized, have I been so mystified by the seemingly quotidian dirt under my feet.”

Matthew Gavin Frank, author of Flight of the Diamond Smugglers

“In Linda Nemec Foster’s Bone Country, each keenly composed and compressed piece seems at once fragmented and yet self-contained. It’s the speed and addictive rhythm with which they reel by that transforms this collection into a visionary travelogue.”

Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern

“Bone Country, Linda Nemec Foster’s thirteenth collection, shimmers with consummate artistry. This treasury of gorgeous and evocative writing is the work of a virtuoso, consistently compelling and a must-read, especially for connoisseurs of the prose poem.”

Clare MacQueen, editor/curator of MacQueen’s Quinterly

“Based on haunting chance encounters, photographs, and journal entries, the accomplished prose poems in Bone Country are Linda Nemec Foster’s postcards to the world from her extensive travels, especially in Central and Eastern Europe—a region that reflects her heritage and to which she is deeply connected. Some poems contain the richly layered palette of paintings and tapestries; others capture the briefest lyrical moments: a tree filled with stork nests against the bare sky, the color of a necktie purchased for one’s beloved. Still others introduce characters ranging from a perfume salesgirl to an emaciated tour guide to a streetcleaner who moonlights as a performance artist. Recreating the delirious, dreamlike experience of travel across time zones, Foster sometimes sees loved ones in the faces of strangers halfway across the world. She is the ideal traveling companion: compassionate, smart, and keenly observant. Let her take your hand as you travel through Bone Country. You’ll return changed, in the best possible ways.”

Kathleen McGookey, author of Instructions for My Imposter

“Like a lyrical ‘missed connections’ column of elegantly detailed encounters across the globe, the prose poems of Bone Country tantalize and explore the dislocation of traveling through time and mind and place. Our final destination is the dizzying, magical sensation of living as both stranger and familiar friend, of ultimately seeing that we have become ‘a single line of pure horizon connecting everything.’”

Leslie Pietrzyk, author of Admit This to No One

News

The First Major Book Launch For Bone Country

The first major book launch for Bone Country will take place in Ann Arbor at Literati Bookstore on March 29, 2023 at 6:30 pm.

Accolades

The following pieces from Bone Country have been honored with awards both nationally and internationally.

YearHonorPrizeDescription
2022 Juried Selection Filmetry: A Festival of Poetry and FilmLinda’s prose poem, “Abandoned House in the Tatra Mountains,” was adapted for film. It was selected to be featured at Filmetry, a film festival sponsored by Michigan State University.
2022 Honorable Mention Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest “The Passenger Next to Me on the Flight from Krakow to Chicago Who Looks Like My Mother” was selected by the editors of the Paterson Literary Review for this national honor.
2022 Semi-Finalist Tomaz Salamun Prize Linda’s chapbook manuscript, Fragments from Bone Country, was honored in this international competition sponsored by Verse Magazine.
2022 Award Selection Best Small Fictions 2022 Linda’s piece, “Irish Guest at the Wedding in Krakow,” was selected to be included in this award-winning anthology. Several thousand pieces were submitted by editors from around the world and only 120 pieces of small fiction were chosen. The anthology will be published in the fall of 2022 by Sonder Press.
2022 Second Prize Fish Anthology’s Flash Fiction Competition Linda’s piece, “On the Other Side of the World” — was awarded second prize in this international competition sponsored by the Fish Anthology in Ireland. Acclaimed New Zealand writer Tracey Slaughter selected Linda’s work for the honor from 948 entries. The award carries a cash prize and Linda has been invited to give a reading at the West Cork Literary Festival in July, 2022.
2021 FinalistOff the Grid Poetry Prize Linda’s manuscript of prose poems, Bone Country, was selected as one of three top finalists (from over 450 submissions) in this national competition sponsored by Off the Grid Books.
2021Nominee Best Small FictionsLinda’s prose poem, “Irish Guest at the Wedding in Krakow,” was nominated for Best Small Fictions, 2022 by Clare MacQueen, Editor. The annual anthology honors the best short fictions published in literary journals and magazines throughout the year.
2020FinalistRiver Styx Microfiction Contest Linda’s piece, “Gallery of the Street” was selected as a finalist (from approximately 375 entries) for this recognition by the editors of River Styx.
2019Honorable Mention New Millennium Writings Flash Fiction Award Linda’s piece, “Babel,” was selected by the journal’s editors for this international recognition.
2019Nominee Best Microfiction Linda’s piece of microfiction, “Scattering the Ashes on Lake Geneva,” was nominated by Clare McQueen, editor of KYSO Flash, for this second annual anthology which honors the best microfiction published in literary journals and magazines throughout the year.
2018Nominee Best Microfiction Linda’s piece of microfiction, “Conjuring Her Face,” was nominated by Clare McQueen, editor of KYSO Flash, for this debut anthology which honors the best microfiction published in literary journals and magazines throughout the year.

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