Sally Nacker


I advise you if you don't know how to make the staff of life to learn with dispatch.
--Emily Dickinson to Abiah Root, September 26, 1845

Over one hundred years ago,
Emily sifted flour in
a mixing bowl. Like twinkling snow,
flour dusted her white apron.

Flour she swiftly sifted in
dusted her brow. As she kneaded,
the powder clung to her apron;
the world that cupped her receded.

She wiped her brow as she needed.
As she hoped for love's vast oven,
her dark world of grief receded--
inside herself she found heaven

where love rose, warm as the oven.
In a mixing bowl--white as snow--
Emily made bread from heaven--
over one hundred years ago.


for my mother

At the foot of a budding tree
below my window,
I spot a silent cardinal.
It must have dropped abruptly.

I heard the blunt sound
on the clear pane; I know it
from when I was a child.
Thinking it was bound

for our living room, a bird would crash
against the glass. Just when beauty
started up again, we'd hear it;
after winter passed.

Sometimes, a bird would just be stunned.
But mostly, it lay dead.
Mother, those times, in concert
with my sensitivity, you led

the way, and we would bury
the stilled thing. Last May, for hours
we planted impatiens in the sun.
July came, and on your casket I lay flowers.

I think how unfair that we
must always lose the found--
all of this bright red, the spring--
as I place the cardinal in the ground.


Sally Nacker received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in January, 2013. She has since been selected as a finalist for the Fairfield Book Prize--as well as a semifinalist for the Crab Orchard Review's Series in Poetry--for her collection Vireo. Her paper, "Wings and Windows: My Letter to Amy Lowell," introduced by poet Annie Finch on Poetry Foundation's Harriet Blog, is published as a web-based project on Winona Media. She has three poems in the spring, 2014 issue of The Wayfarer: A Journal of Contemplative Literature. She resides in Connecticut with her husband and their two cats.


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Rebekah Curry
Anna Evans
Marcene Gandolfo
Claudia Gary
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A. J. Huffman
Kathryn Jacobs
Geneva Kachman
Joan Mazza
Susan McLean
Sally Nacker
Janice D. Soderling
A. M. Thompson
Cara Valle
Marly Youmans
Seree Zohar


>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
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