Bone Country

Cornerstone Press
University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point

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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


Poetry Reading in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Linda will be reading from her most recent book, Bone Country, and also discuss two other poetry collections: The Blue Divide and The Lake Michigan Mermaid. This event is hosted by Lion’s Mouth Bookstore, one of the region’s most popular independent bookstores. Lion’s Mouth Bookstore 211 N Washington Street Green Bay WI, 54301 For more […]

Linda Nemec Foster Interviewed on New Books Network

Linda was interviewed for this national series by poet and editor Megan Wildhood. Their discussion focused on Linda’s poetry and publications, specifically her new book, Bone Country.

Bone Country Reviewed in MacQueen’s Quinterly

A book review of Bone Country appeared on the Facebook page of the online journal, MacQueen’s Quinterly.

Michigan State University Reading

Linda will be a featured speaker at the annual conference for the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature. The conference will take place on MSU’s campus at the Kellogg Conference Center from June 1-3. 2023. Linda will read from her new book, Bone Country, and other more recent poems. For more information, contact Jeffrey […]

Bone Country Reviewed in the San Francisco Journal of Arts and Letters, ZYZZYVA

A book review of Bone Country was recently published in ZYZZYVA, a San Francisco journal of arts and letters.

Cornerstone Press Book Launch Event Featuring Linda Nemec Foster and Heather Bourbeau

Cornerstone Press, the publisher of Bone Country, hosted a Zoom book launch featuring Linda Nemec Foster (author of Bone Country) and Heather Bourbeau.

Cornerstone Press Book Launch on Zoom

Cornerstone Press, the publisher of Bone Country, will host a Zoom book launch featuring Linda Nemec Foster and Heather Bourbeau. The program highlights the Press and two of their newly published poets. Watch the full video of the book launch event below: Additional Event Information To join this Zoom program, click on the link below. […]

Royal Oak, MI reading for Bone Country

The Royal Oak Public Library will host a reading by Linda for her new book, Bone Country. She will be joined by her friend and colleague Mary Jo Firth Gillett. A book signing and reception will follow the presentation. Royal Oak Public Library 222 E. Eleven Mile Road Royal Oak, MI For more information, please […]

Grand Rapids Book Launch for Bone Country

The Grand Rapids book launch for Bone Country will be hosted by Schuler Books on April 20, 2023 at 6:30 pm. This will be an in-person event with a reading, Q&A session, book signing, and reception. Schuler Books 2660 28th St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512 For more information, please click here to visit the […]

Bone Country Named a Top 10 Most Read Poetry Book in North of Oxford’s National Poetry Month April Edition

Linda’s new book, Bone Country, is one of the top ten most read poetry book reviews at North of Oxford for April, National Poetry Month.



2023NomineePulitzer Prize

National Book Award

Kingsley Tufts Award

Anisfield Wolf Book Award

Paterson Poetry Prize

Balcones Prize for Poetry

Housatonic Book Award

Next Generation Indie Book Award

National Indie Excellence Award

IPPY Award

NYC Big Book Award

Michigan Notable Book

Ohioana Book Award for Poetry

Society of Midland Authors Book Award

Foreword Indies Book Award

Eric Hoffer Book Award

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

W.C. Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America

Griffin Poetry Prize

PEN Voekler Poetry Award

Book award nominations for Bone Country.
2023Award SelectionBest Spiritual Literature 2023Linda’s prose poem, “The Cloud Sleeps on the Mountain,” was selected to be included in this prestigious anthology which features the best spiritual writing published throughout the country. Only 17 authors were honored by the editors, including such poets as T.R. Hummer and Robert Wrigley. The anthology will be published by Orison Books in December, 2023.
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, “The 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 PrizeLinda’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, “The Irish Guest at the Wedding in Krakow,” was nominated for Best Small Fictions, 2022 by Clare MacQueen, editor of MacQueen’s Quinterly. 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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