A Folio of Visual Poetry by Nance Van Winckel

A Process Note

Lately I’ve been “captioning” a few of my own photographs. Writing photo captions and cutlines for a newspaper was an early job of mine, and I’ve been revisiting that work but with a different sort of torque on what is usually expected of a caption. As a newspaper person, the words I used had a specific mission: to describe exactly the facts the photograph presented. These days I allow my text to do what was not allowed back then: reflect, press against the edges of the visual and beyond. Also, I’m rediscovering black and white, especially how the spare visual information seems to create a better balance with the spareness of the text itself. 




Nance Van Winckel’s ninth poetry collection, The Many Beds of Martha Washington, is just out with the Pacific Northwest Poetry Series/Lynx House Press. She’s also published a book of visual poems with Pleiades Press (2016) and five books of fiction, most recently Ever Yrs, a novel in the form of a scrapbook (Twisted Road Publications, 2014). The recipient of two NEA fellowships, the Washington State Book Award, a Paterson Fiction Prize, Poetry Society of America’s Gordon Barber Poetry Award, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, and three Pushcart Prizes, Nance teaches in Vermont College’s MFA Program and lives in Spokane, Washington. Her visual poetry website is: https://photoemsbynancevanwinckel.zenfolio.com