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No Starling: Poems (Pacific Northwest Poetry)


No Starling: Poems (Pacific Northwest Poetry) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The new century peeled me bone bare like a song

inside a warbler - that bird, people,

who knows not to go where the sky's


Over the years, Nance Van Winckel's extraordinarily precise and energetic voice has built upon its strengths. Unpredictable, wry, always provocative, displaying a sure and startling command of images and ideas, her poems make every gesture of language count. In No Starling, Van Winckel accomplishes what has proven to be so difficult for poets across time: a deeply satisfying balance of the spiritual and political. Although richly peopled with figures from this and parallel worlds - Simone Weil, Verlaine, Nabokov, Eurydice, "the new boys" working in the morgue, and others - No Starling moves beyond a reliance on the dramatic resonance of individual characters. Its vision is deeper, its focus both singular and communal: the self on its journey through the world ("Mouth, mouth: my light / and my exit. Let nothing / block the route"), and our responsibilities as a people for the precarious state of that world.

Nance Van Winckel teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Eastern Washington University and Vermont College. She is the author of four books of poetry and three collections of short stories. Her numerous awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, two Washington State Artist Trust Awards, and Poetry Magazine's Friends of Literature Award. After a Spell won the Washington State Governor's Award for Poetry.


My too-sharp lefts kept making the bundle in back

sluice right. I was driving with the dead Nance

in the truck bed. The gas gauge didn't work

so there was an added worry of running

out of juice. Her word. Her word one

windy evening with the carpets

stripped from a floor, which

surprised us as stone - slate

from the quarry we were

headed to now, but Let's first have us

some juice, she'd said, then, barefoot on bare slate.

The truck-bedded Nance, wrapped in her winding sheet,

thuds left, clunks right. I'm sorry about my driving,

sorry about the million lovely pine moths mottled

on my windshield. Thank God, here's the quarry,

and there's the high ledge, where, as a girl long

ago, she'd stepped bravely from the white

towel and stared down. Then she'd held her nose

and leapt out into it - this same cool and radiant air.

Product Details

Van Winckel, Nance
University of Washington Press
Winckel, Nance Van
American - General
Poetry-A to Z
Pacific Northwest Poetry
Publication Date:
9.22x6.14x.22 in. .28 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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Product details 76 pages University of Washington Press - English 9780295987361 Reviews:
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