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Nancy Pagh

Nancy Pagh

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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.

Once Removed

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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

Patch of Blue