Nancy Lynée Woo
Nancy Lynée Woo was awarded the 2018-2019 Professional Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council for Long Beach, and is a 2015 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow. She is co-founder of the Long Beach Literary Arts Center, and the author of two chapbooks, Bearing the Juice of It All (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Rampant (Sadie Girl Press, 2014).
She teaches poetry workshops called Surprise the Line, and hosts Off the Page: The Story Behind the Stanzas at the Long Beach Public Library. Nancy released a poetry-music CD, Face the Blaze (Blacksheep Music Productions, 2014) and has had poems published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Radar Poetry, Confrontation Magazine, The Rusty Toque, and Stirring. Find her cavorting around Long Beach, California, and online at: nancylyneewoo.com & imaginaria.live. Become a patron at patreon.com/fancifulnance.
According to poet Robert Carr, “poets repeat the same prayer in different words.” My prayer is: I wish to empower grace. I write to see what I can’t see yet, to experience perspectives beyond my own and stretch my understandings of the world. I am constantly working to explore the concept of magic in modern life. I tend to believe that magic operates from a core of wonder and gratitude, present in everything from the mundane miracle of grocery stores, to the approach of a butterfly on a calm spring day, to the vast expanse of galaxies and universes. I am fascinated by the tension between: science and mysticism, body and spirit, masculine and feminine, modern technology and ancient mythologies, mortality and collective consciousness. As a poet, I wish for my poems to be gifts to the reader, so a driving question is, “Who do I have to be to write the poems I want to write?”
I’ve been a poet since I was eight years old but it was around age 22 that I officially came out of denial. I agree with Robert Frost: “Being a poet is a condition.” However, I also happen to believe it can be a profession. Looking back, I’ve always loved cartwheeling with language and exploring consciousness. I write poetry because this is how my brain and my spirit are wired: to see in images and create in words. I write because putting words on a page is how I best know how to exist. The more I embrace the process, the wider the openings become.