Nancy Cherry

Rookie (Fairfield, California)

Nancy Cherry
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I've lived in northern California all my life and more, though have occasionally stolen away to touch down on stunning places like Norway, Barcelona, Paris, New York CIty, Victoria, Seattle, Hawaii and the Stone Coast of Maine. I received my B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and Master’s in English from California State University, Sacramento, teach poetry writing workshops, design & publish poetry books, and occasionally stop to paint. I've had around 100 poems published, give or take a few. I've won a few awards including a writing fellowship from Villa Montalvo, and was nominated for a Push Cart and for inclusion in the Best American Poetry anthology. I live in... more »

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Best Poem of Nancy Cherry


In the years before unleaded, when everything
ran smooth as asphalt,
my father sold gasoline wholesale—
stored barrels that accumulated
a thick pitch of years as the platform planks
darkened with creosote—
a smell that walked in
on my father’s boots, the big boots
with rawhide laces and the smell
came into the house
like soot from an old fire.

In the summer, my sister and I played
in the fumes of 40 weight and 30,
scent of Zerolene, Ethyl and Supreme,
valve oil, pearl oil, tractor roller grease.
All summer, the smell of ...

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