Poet-in-Residence, 2009

Poetry Reading
Tuesday, January 20
7 p.m. Bucknell Hall

Van Winckel is the author of five books of poetry, most recently No Starling (University of Washington). Among her many honors and awards are two NEA Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, two Washington State Artist Trust Awards, and awards from the Poetry Society of America, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has appeared widely in journals and magazines. She has also published three collections of short stories. Van Winckel teaches in the MFA programs at Eastern Washington University and at Vermont College. As Bucknell’s 2009 Poet-in-Residence, she will teach a poetry workshop during the spring semester.

Nance Van Winckel

Simone Weil at the Renault Factory (1935)


A thread in a line of threads, she stands

at the far end of her self. Eyelets and inlets,

divots for ingots. Migraines are the grain

of the day. In the awl’s hollows, the nothing

God is to teach us the nothing we are.


The coupe is a cave. Go in and kneel

on its seat. Hands tool the tools

without us: to work to eat; to eat to work.


Where are the streets for such vehicles? Not yet

made. Where’s the fuel to make go Go?

Underground, still pressing itself to become itself.


Punched-in lead holes; the head aches

when it’s emptied out. A cold outside

comes in. The coupe is a cave.

Shine its horn; buff its blast.


The cave wheels forth—God,

where is it going? Into more rat-a-tat-

tat. More hands, less us; more air

in the airguns, less loud the heart.



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