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


Bone Country is reviewed in North of Oxford

Bone Country is reviewed in North of Oxford, an online literary journal based in Philadelphia.

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.

Detroit Working Writers’ Celebration

Linda has been selected to give a reading and presentation on her new book, Bone Country, and the accolades it has received. She will be joining other DWW members, including Joy Gaines-Friedler and Linda Sienkiewicz, for this program. Event Time: Saturday, March 18 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Royal Oak Senior Center 3500 Marais […]

Linda Nemec Foster is interviewed by Jeff Milo for his podcast, “A Little Too Quiet”

Linda Nemec Foster is interviewed by Jeff Milo for his podcast, “A Little Too Quiet” (sponsored by the Ferndale Public Library) in Ferndale, Michigan. In this interview, Linda discusses her new book, Bone Country, and the inspiration for this collection of prose poems: her first full-length book of prose poems/flash fiction. To listen to the […]

AWP Conference in Seattle

Linda has been invited to give a reading from her new book, Bone Country, at the Cornerstone Press book table at the AWP Bookfair on Friday, March 10 at 11:00 am. She will also be doing book signings for Bone Country and The Lake Michigan Mermaid (the latter book at the Wayne State University Press’ […]



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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