Nancy Willard (born June 26, 1936) is a novelist, a poet, and a children's writer and occasional illustrator. Her 1981 collection of poems, A Visit to William Blake's Inn, won the Newbery Medal as that year's most distinguished contribution to American children's literature.
Willard was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she later received the B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and won five Hopwood Awards for creative writing. She also studied at Stanford University, where she received her M.A.
Her first novel, Things Invisible to See (1985), is set in her home town of Ann Arbor in the 1940s. Two brothers become involved with a paralyzed young woman, and it ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
A Wreath To The Fish
Who is this fish, still wearing its wealth,
flat on my drainboard, dead asleep,
its suit of mail proof only against the stream?
What is it to live in a stream,
to dwell forever in a tunnel of cold,
never to leave your shining birthsuit,
never to spend your inheritance of thin coins?
And who is the stream, who lolls all day
in an unmade bed, living on nothing but weather,
singing, a little mad in the head,
opening her apron to shells, carcasses, crabs,
eyeglasses, the lines of fisherman begging for
news from the interior-oh, who are these lines
that link a...