miami university


The Dirt


Nance Van Winckel

1993. 1-881163-06-7 / 1-881163-07-5

The Dirt book cover

Buy this item

“After reading The Dirt, Nance Van Winckel’s second book of poetry, I had the feeling that I was standing on the cusp of the poems and would not be allowed access to their meanings until I had read the book several more times... What makes so many of the poems so good is the elegant language and imagery that made me want to reread them, to understand each poem on its own terms.”
—Laurie Byrne Bouck, Indiana Review

“Nance Van Winckel’s poems work, walk, shine, splash, and heal. Their facts are hallucinatory. This traveling phosphoric light registers and defines simultaneously many—all—parallel worlds born on the spot while walking. Amorphous borders are the sharpest edges. ‘Blink, and this sleep is a pebble carried in the great / gullet of a dream—augering down the lava core / and rising into the night mountains...’ Yes. And more. Fascinating.”
—Tomaz Salamun, poet

“Nance Van Winckel looks into the world’s shattered glass and animates the cultures, histories, human dispositions, and decontextualized landscapes found there. For those who celebrate Keats’s Negative Capability—haunting, reflective, discontinuous—lift this mirror and breathe upon it; from the silvery lake of mystery, light’s brief truth glints.”
—Sandra Alcosser

“There is so much unpredictability and surprise in Nance Van Winckel’s poems that they seem to hover, sometimes tremble, slightly ahead of the reader and writer, yet all the while rewarding anyone who cares to follow.”
—Li-Young Lee

About the Author

Photo of Nance van WinkelIn addition to her three most recent poetry books with Miami University Press, Nance Van Winckel authored an earlier volume of verse, Bad Girl, with Hawk. Her poems have appeared in APR, Ascent, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Field, Gettysburg Review, Grand Street, High Plains Literary Review, The Journal, Ohio Review, Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Paris Review, North American Review, Poetry Miscellany, The Seneca Review, Third Coast, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch.

She has also published two collections of short stories, Limited Lifetime Warranty Quake, and Curtain Creek Farm.

She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship in poetry and a 1998 Washington State Artists Trust Literary Award in fiction.

She is a professor in the graduate creative writing programs of Vermont College and Eastern Washington University.

Author Photo by: R.F. Nelson