Nancy Pagh was born in Anacortes, Washington. Her poems are saturated in the tactile, the sensual, and the local— in them you will find the salal, rain, and butter clam. But, grounded in the body and the body’s relationship with the world, her poems seek wider significance and understanding.
Nancy is the author of two award-winning poetry collections (No Sweeter Fat and After), a study of women boat travelers (At Home Afloat) and a guide to creative writing (Write Moves). She has taught in regional workshops such as the Port Townsend Writers’ Workshop, the Field’s End Writer’s Conference, and the Whidbey Island Writers Association conference. Nancy was the D. H. Lawrence Fellow at the Taos Summer Writers Conference and is a recipient of an Artist Trust/ Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship. She teaches at Western Washington University and lives in Bellingham.
Poem from Once Removed
Breath escaping underwater runs to meet its mother, sky. October hair all up in curlers. Because children protect themselves with names I say I was a glass jar of mussel shells. One girl was Billy the Kid. I could be her horse, she said. As if I was just another person. A good childhood is hard to live up to, grow out of. One summer my girlfriend said I was possessed by the Beatles. She prayed for me. I floated on my parents’ waterbed, imagining my own death which I realized is life before childhood. I was a black stone, its equator drawn in white to mark each falling revolution.
Cover art by Kathy Hastings
Patch of Blue