Foster, Linda Nemec 1950-

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FOSTER, Linda Nemec 1950-

PERSONAL: Born May 29, 1950 in Cleveland, OH; daughter of John and Helen (Kumor) Nemec; married Anthony Jesse Foster, October 26, 1974; children: Brian Jesse, Ellen Kathleen. Education: Aquinas College, B.A. (magnum cum laude), 1972; Goddard College, M.F.A., 1979. Religion: Roman Catholic Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, camping, boating, traveling.

ADDRESSES: Home—2024 Wilshire Dr. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49506-4014. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Center for Environmental Study, Grand Rapids, MI, social demographer, 1971-74; Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., Detroit, MI, clerk, 1974-77; Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, lecturer in art, 1984; Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI, professor of English, 1999. Teacher of poetry and writing, Michigan Council for the Arts, Detroit, MI, 1980. Member of board of directors, Mecosta County Council for the Humanities, 1982-85; member of board of directors, Urban Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI, 1989-95, director of literature programming, 1989-96. Featured poet at numerous conferences and workshops. Contributor, National Writers' Voice Project.

MEMBER: Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, National Writers' Union, National Writers' Voice (Metro Detroit), Detroit Women Writers, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.

AWARDS, HONORS: Pushcart Prize for poetry, 1984; creative artist grants, Michigan Council for the Arts, 1984 and 1990; first prize, National Women's Poetry Competition, Oakland Community College (MI), 1995 and 1997; creative artist award in poetry, Arts Foundation of Michigan, 1996; outstanding alumni award, Trinity High School, 1997; National Writers' Voice Project fellowship, 1999; outstanding alumni award, Aquinas College, 2000; ArtServe Michigan creative artist grant in literature, 2001; named Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, MI, 2003; finalist, Ohio Book Award in Poetry, 2003, for Amber Necklace from Gdansk.

WRITINGS:

poetry

A History of the Body, Coffee House Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1987.

A Modern Fairy Tale: The Baba Yaga Poems, Ridgeway Press (Detroit, MI), 1992.

Trying to Balance the Heart, Sun Dog Press (Detroit, MI), 1993.

Living in the Fire Nest, Ridgeway Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

Contemplating the Heavens, Ridgeway Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Amber Necklace from Gdansk, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2001.

Contributor of poetry to numerous periodicals, including Georgia Review, Nimrod, Quarterly West, Indiana Review, International Poetry Review, DoubleTake, and Mid-American Review. Translator, with Beata Kane, of works by Polish poet Ewa Parma for Artful Dodge, International Poetry Review, and Mr. Cognito. Contributor of poems to anthologies.

SIDELIGHTS: Linda Nemec Foster is the granddaughter of Polish immigrants, a fact that informs her poetry in the volume Amber Necklace from Gdansk. In 2003 Foster was named the first poet laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in honor of her body of work and her efforts to promote a love of literature and the arts in her community. Born and raised in an ethnic neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, Foster moved to Michigan to attend college in 1968 and has lived there ever since, save for the years she spent obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in Vermont. She began writing poetry in 1974 while living and working in Detroit. Since then her poetry has appeared in magazines and books, and she has received numerous grants from Michigan arts foundations. Upon learning that she had been named poet laureate in her community, she told the Grand Rapids Press: "This is a wonderful opportunity…. The poet laureate posi tion is another dimension of what I do. It helps broaden the public's awareness of and interest in this art form, and I say bravo to that."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Grand Rapids Press, April 20, 2003, Ann Byle, "Reaching out Is Nothing New for Grand Rapids' First Poet Laureate."

New York Times Book Review, August 11, 2002, Eric McHenry, review of Amber Necklace from Gdansk, p. 20.

online

Linda Nemec Foster Home Page, http://www.lindanemecfoster.com (June 11, 2003).

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