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About Nancy McCleery


Girl Talk
Copyright © 2002
by Nancy McCleery
Backwaters P
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The two characters in these Girl Talk poems began arriving some ten years ago, resulting in this hybrid collection — a novel in verse as I see it, a story which develops from two sources:
First, narrative poems comprised of conversations between two women — a visual artist and a literary artist — women of very different temperaments, behaviors, and ways of relating as they deal with various issues ranging from love, sex, AIDS, and politics to other events involving friends, family, their work as artists, and spiritual matters; and second, other poems interspersed throughout: unspoken narratives and lyrics — poems proposing to function as underpinnings and subtexts for the discussions, all of which take place over a period of roughly three decades suggesting a long association between the two women.
Contributing to the writing was my work in classical piano and bass viol as a young woman as well as collaborations and friendships with artists in other disciplines, particularly the late Robert Walters, composer, in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the 1970s; visual artist Nancy Child; musician Nancy Marshall; and actor/director Judy Hart, in the 1990s, Lincoln, Nebraska; and visual artists, singers, and dancers in Anchorage, Alaska, 1977-1988. In addition to teaching and traveling as a poet in Alaska, I served as the Visual Arts Center's Poet-in-Residence in Anchorage.
My thanks to each of my teachers in the various arts, and to those fellow writers, friends, and acquaintances who have offered their good will, their interest and moral support over the years. — Afterword from the author

Girl Talk has the feel of a "selected poems" or a life's work. And yet the overriding expression is a fresh exuberance of raw energy and delight we associate with new writers. McCleery may well be an old hand, whose insights are learned and earned, but every poem sings with pure astonishment. — Greg Kuzma

Thank you so much for the brilliant poems. What an inspired idea! — Carolyn Kizer

I am reminded of the two faces of Janus, looking back toward girlhood and forward toward the woman whole and complete, teetering at the pinnacle of female awareness. The "girl" voice in this book redeems silence for us all. — CarolAnn Russell

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