Born: May 29, 1950
Ohio connection: Birth
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 a Slavic neighborhood in Cleveland to John and Helen Nemec, Foster moved to Michigan to attend college in 1968 and has lived there ever since, except for the years she spent obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing in Vermont. She began writing poetry in 1975 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. She founded the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College in 1997. From 2003-2005, Foster was selected to serve as Grand Rapids’ first poet laureate. She is the author of nine collections of poetry including Amber Necklace from Gdanskand Listen to the Landscape and has taught numerous poetry and writing workshops.
1984 Pushcart Prize, 1996 creative artist award in poetry, Arts Foundation of Michigan, 2003 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, 2007 Michigan Notable Book Award, nomination for 2010 ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year Award in Poetry.