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A magazine of poetry and related arts straight from L.A.


Obsession Fascination


Visual Cues

(Art Meets Poetry ó and Vice-Versa)

Poet: Nance Van Winckel
Artist: Unknown

What is an Ekphrastic Poem? That's easy. A baby would know that. A Greek-worded thing, it's a poem inspired by a work of visual art, or any art other than poetry. But what the heck is Catawampus?!

Nance Van Winckel


I got up to straighten the painting
on the wall. An hour later
Iím doing it again. What gives
with this woman in
silky blue oils?
A water bucket in one hand, a child
in the other, she carries a milk jug
on her head. Itís essential
she enter our room
exactly rightó
heading toward and then through
the facing wall of framed in-laws
and ancestors and on
into the dayís last chores.


  Nance Van Winckel's ( books of poetry include Bad Girl, with Hawk (U. of Illinois Press, 1987), The Dirt (Miami U. Press, 1994), Beside Ourselves (Miami University Press, 2003), After A Spell (Miami U. Press, 1998), which received the Washington State Governorís Award for Poetry, and No Starling (University of Washington Press, 2007). She's received two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, Poetry Magazineís Friends of Literature Award, two Washington State Artist Trust Awards, The Midland Authors Award, and awards from the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, the 2006 Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Gettysburg Review, Field, Volt, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Ploughshares.

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