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About Nance

Nance Van Winckel, originally from Roanoke, Virginia, has lived in Spokane, Washington since 1990. She graduated from Columbus High School in Wisconsin and from the U. of Wisconsin--Milwaukee. She received her M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.


She's received two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, three Pushcart Prizes, Poetry Magazine's Friends of Literature Award, three 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 Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Gettysburg Review, Field, Volt, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Ploughshares.


Her newest works combine text and images. Click above on "Visual Poems" and "Pho-toems" for links and examples of this innovative new work, or click here for Nance's website devoted to this work:



The Many Beds of Martha Washington is Nance's ninth and newest collection of poems. It's the 2021 selection, chosen by Linda Bierds, for the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series.


Our Foreigner, her 2017 collection of poems, explores, as a Prairie Schooner reviewer explains,  "Ideas of journey, progress and regress, travel both physical and psychological. A variety of voices populate this collection, speakers from the past, or bright, sassy, contemporary folks talking as if all they have to do is open their mouths and out flies poetry. They manage, these poems, to be at once plain-speaking and brainy, lucid and deeply mysterious."

Book of No Ledge is a collection of visual poems, altered pages from an old encyclopedia. It appeared in 2016 with Pleiades Press.

Pacific Walkers, Nance's sixth book of poems, was released from U. of Washington Press in 2014 and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. 


Nance's other books of poetry include: No Starling (University of Washington Press, 2007), Bad Girl, with Hawk (U. of Illinois Press, 1987), The Dirt (Miami U. Press, 1994), Beside Ourselves (Miami University Press, 2003), and After A Spell (Miami U. Press, 1998), which received the Washington State Governor's Award for Poetry.


The newest book of fiction is Ever Yrs, a novel in the form of a photograph album (2014, Twisted Road Publications). See the link to sample pages below the book to the left.


Nance's other books of fiction include four collections of linked short stories: Boneland (U. of Oklahoma Press, 2013, Curtain Creek Farm (Persea Books, 2000), Quake (U. of Missouri Press, 1998) which received the 1998 Paterson Fiction Prize, and Limited Lifetime Warranty (U. of Missouri Press, 1994). Recent stories appear in The Georgia Review, Colorado Review, and AGNI. Nance received a Christopher Isherwood Fiction Fellowship for the book Boneland.

Nance with her husband, artist Rik Nelson

Nance teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has also taught at Lake Forest College in Illinois and is Professor Emerita in the MFA in Writing program at Eastern Washington University, where she served as editor of the literary journal Willow Springs from 1990-96. She was a poet in residence at the University of Montana and Westminster College, a Stadler Poet in Residence at Bucknell University, and a fiction writer in residence at Randolph College. She has taught at Centrum Writers Conference, Utah's Writers @ Work, Portland Oregon's Wordstock, Seattle's Hugo House, and at many writing festivals and conferences. She is available for readings and teaching residencies. See contact link above.