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Distributed for New Issues Poetry & Prose

The Blue Divide


The poems in this powerful new collection explore the history of conflict and resilience—whether it occurs during the Nazi occupation of Poland, the Balkan wars in Bosnia and Croatia, or within the intimate tableaux of a family’s dissonance. Weaving poems into three distinct sections, Linda Nemec Foster pays close attention to not only what divides us, but also to what can heal and redeem our common journey: an artist’s notebook; the imagined life of Mary Magdalene; a fascination with Mount Fuji; a mother’s obsession with vintage movie stars; a dead father’s love. The Blue Divide resonates with the landscape of the world and the landscape of the heart.

74 pages | 7 x 9 3/4


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“Women learning to sing again after a war. Immigrants learning a new world and language while trying not to forget the old. The Seven Deadly Sins as fashion statements. A train ride into the afterlife. A woman putting on red lipstick in a colorless city. Mary Magdalene eyed through a modern lens. A daughter calling her dead father in a dream. In The Blue Divide, Linda Nemec Foster navigates the edges and depths of worlds both here and beyond—through currents of art, love, war, dreams, religion, history, language, family—to map what flows between us. Testimonial to human endurance and love song to the human spirit, this gem of a book, retrieved from the deep by a poet at the height of her prowess, is as wide as a ‘cavalcade of blue sky’ and as deep as ‘the blue damask of morning.’ Hold these poems up to the light to see the wide blue world (and the world in you) changed, for good.”

Robert Fanning, author of The Seed Thieves, American Prophet, Our Sudden Museum, and Severance

“Linda Nemec Foster’s poems flex their powerful muscles in this dynamic new collection. With clarity and intensity, she dives deep into the shadows, and deep into the light—global landscape, personal touch; faith and art; the sensual and the cruel; forward and backward through generations of family, acknowledging loss wherever it occurs—all with her trademark tenderness and resilience. I am always interested in whatever she has to say; she is always paying attention, pointing out the places where the heart breaks, and where it mends.”

Jim Daniels

The Blue Divide: between Old Country and New; war and peace; song and silence; sea and sky; past and present; reality and perception; art and life; husband and wife; sun and storm; memory and forgetting. These are a few of the borders (and borderlands) Linda Nemec Foster explores in her twelfth collection of poems, in a voice straightforward but deepened by emotion and experience. She is both a tourist and an inhabitant everywhere: whether in Warsaw, Cleveland, Sarajevo, New York City, Geneva, Poughkeepsie, Oahu, or Ypsilanti, Foster finds the stuff of poetry and makes it real and tangible. From ‘the thin line of horizon,’ she reminds us that ‘everything/everything is connected. Whether/we can dare to believe it or not.’”

Laurel Blossom

"Rich with closely observed detail, narrative depth, and poignant historical reflections, this is a generous and beautiful collection."

Publisher's Weekly

Table of Contents


Love in the Midst of War 5
The Cypress Trees in Croatia 6
Report from Bosnia: “Hair” Performed in Sarajevo 7
The American Insomniac Buys Lipstick in Warsaw, 1950 9
Poland 11
Fire and Ice 12
Café de Paris: Geneva, Switzerland 13
Pictures of the Floating World: New York City, June, 2001 14
NYC to Poughkeepsie: The Man on the Train 15
The Dead 16
Inside the Crater 17
Transplant 18
Six Days: A Creation Myth 19
Scar 20
Trying to Get It Right 21
Sequence: The Artist’s Notebook 22
The Dream of Maine 25
Milan, Ohio 26
Fashion Accessories for the Seven Deadly Sins 27


Fog Made of Iron 33
Anonymous Afternoon 34
The Far Country 35
Mount Fuji 36
All That We Cannot Name 37
The Atheist 38
Waiting for the Annunciation 39
The Modern Woman Imagines the Life of Mary Magdalene 40
Life Cycle of Clouds 44


The Immigrants in Slavic Village: Cleveland, 1955 49
Family Tree 50
Drawing: In the Evening, 1991 52
The Theory of Everything 53
Blue 55
The Water 56
Gravity and God 57
A Kiss Is Just a Kiss 58
At 68, My Mother Sees Her First Foreign Film 59
Thirst 60
In the Midst of Dreams 61
The Muted Breath of Early Spring 63
On the First Anniversary of His Death, I Dream of My Father 65
The Dream That Is Forgotten 66

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