Pacific Walkers


Nance Van Winckel

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  • $24.95 hardcover (9780295992815) Add to Cart
  • Published: 2013. Paperback 2014
  • Subject Listing: Literature / Poetry
  • Bibliographic information: 80 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Pacific Northwest Poetry Series
  • Contents

Nance Van Winckel's wry, provocative slant on the world and her command of images and ideas enliven these stunning poems. Presented in two parts, Pacific Walkers first gives imagined voice to anonymous dead individuals, entries in the John Doe network of the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Records. The focus then shifts to named but now-forgotten individuals in a discarded early-1900s photo album purchased in a secondhand store. We encounter figures devoid of history but enduring among us as lockered remains, and figures who come with histories - first names and dates, and faces preserved in photographs - but who no longer belong to anyone.

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Nance Van Winckel is the author of five books of poetry, including No Starling and After a Spell, winner of the Washington State Governor's Award for Poetry, and three collections of short stories. Her numerous awards include two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, and Poetry Magazine's Friends of Literature Award. She lives near Spokane, Washington, with her husband, the artist Rik Nelson.

"An exquisite collection. Those who love stories; those who are interested in ways of thinking about memory, the passing of time, family history, old photographs; and those who enjoy just hovering for a moment in the beauty of arresting details and language will be eager readers of Pacific Walkers."
-Nancy Eimers, author of A Grammar to Waking and Oz

"Nance Van Winckel's new collection is alive with the natural world, full of kinetic storytelling and a willingness to observe even the smallest part of our lives which, of course, often impact us the most. This is also a book of poems that celebrate the ten thousand things of our culture, from the Bronze Age to Value Village. Van Winckel knows that part of the poet's job is to witness back to us our own experience and she does this with a voice I am happy to know is singing in the sometimes dark and rainy days of our planet."
-Matthew Dickman, author of Mayakovsky's Revolver and All-American Poem

Pacific Walkers

Signing on with The Daily Sun
Last Address
His Other Car Was a Train
John Doe #130969
The River That Runs Above
The River That Runs Beneath
I Too Sip from the Flask
Afraid of My Rays, No One Comes Near

When the River Comes toward Me
Complete Stranger
As Reported
I Take Notes in the Cold
Only As Good As Your Feet
Compromised State
Say What You Will
"Outlaw Mentality"
My Weight in Ants
The River Pulls Awake a Morning

Decked Out
They Flee from Me
Apparently Not
Coordinates of X
Happy and Terrified When We Wake


Rained On
What Is the Who?
A Man Mistakes Me for a Mannequin
Take Them from Me
A Last Moth of August
My You Mother May I?
Thin Ice
Stopped in the Midst of Going On
Late June, 1960
Write Back When You Can

Stole (Wedding Photograph, 1911)
On Hudson Street
In Our Minds
Ground into Being
Crypt Window
At Value Village
Song of the Sang-Froid (Who Knocketh?)
I Am My Own Assistant

Once I Had a Badge
I Have My Own Damned Family-Thank You
Very Much-But Theirs Apparently Has Nobody
Who Died and Made You Our Foreigner?
Coming to Her Senses
The Definite Article
Art Brut
Shut Up and Row
No Sign of My Passing

About the Poet
A Note on the Type

"Van Winckel's intersections of then and now, other and us, are the stuff of real poetry."
-Mike Dillon, City Living

"These moving poems span a multifaceted range of narrators."
-Publishers Weekly, January 2013