In this unexpected place—where 85% of the locals profess no faith in anything (no god, no goddess, no multi-armed Shiva offering comfort)—it’s almost a shock to see The Infant in his royal regalia. Turquoise velvet cloak, aquamarine satin dress. In a side altar enthroned in a church in Prague, The Infant holds reign in this city where most people claim he doesn’t exist or ignore him. His mother isn’t fazed one bit. She casually stands in a corner to his right—her outstretched marble hand presents him to the world, as if saying: “Here he is! Here’s my boy!” Like any proud Jewish mother. My mother had a thing for this particular incarnation of this incarnate God-Son. She volunteered to host another elaborate statue of The Infant of Prague from the local church in Cleveland when the pastor announced a special month of devotion. Families signed up to keep the statue for a week and my mother was one of the first. She placed Mary’s boy in the center of the mantle piece in the living room. Every day she washed, dried, and ironed his clothes. Honorable work, she thought, for any mother.
is the author of 11 poetry collections, including Amber Necklace from Gdansk (a finalist for the Ohio Book Award in Poetry; Louisiana State University Press, 2001), The Lake Michigan Mermaid with Anne-Marie Oomen (2019 Michigan Notable Book; Wayne State University Press, 2018), The Elusive Heroine: My Daughter Lost in Magritte (Cervena Barva Press, 2018), Talking Diamonds (New Issues Press, 2009), and Listen to the Landscape (Eerdmans Publishing, 2006). Her new poetry book, The Blue Divide, was selected as an Editor’s Choice and will be published by New Issues Press in 2021.
Ms. Foster’s work has appeared in more than 350 magazines and journals such as The Georgia Review, New American Writing, Nimrod, North American Review, Quarterly West, Paterson Literary Review, Witness, and Verse Daily. Her poems have also been published in anthologies in the U.S. and Great Britain, and translated in Europe. Collaborations with visual artists, musicians, and composers have brought her poetry to new venues and audiences. It has been exhibited in museums and galleries, set to music, produced for the stage, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
In 2018 and 2019, Ms. Foster won an Editor’s Choice Award in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College and Paterson Literary Review. She has been honored with awards from the Arts Foundation of Michigan, ArtServe Michigan, the National Writer’s Voice, and the Academy of American Poets. She is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College, and was the first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan (serving from 2003-2005). In 2015, she was honored by the Dyer-Ives Foundation for her poetry and advocacy of the literary arts in Michigan. In the fall of 2019, she was a guest lecturer in contemporary American poetry and literature at the University of Bielsko-Biala in Poland.
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