I've only known Nancy Burke this past year via email and through an exchange of our poetry books, just the time since we started working toward the Slike iz kanade book. The book of Nancy's included in Slike iz kanade was Wypalona Ziemia / Scorched Earth (Torun: Algo, 2003) her third book of poetry published in Poland with en face translations by Polish poets, this time by Ludmila Marjanska and Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska.
We met in person for the first time at the YACS conference in Nis, Serbia in Oktobar 2005. Nancy, along with Fraser Sutherland and myself, was one of the invited artist guests. In addition, Nancy was chosen to be the keynote speaker with her paper "'A Dichotomy of Consciousness'the problem of identity as expressed in short stories by ethnic Canadian writers."
Nancy had lived and taught in Poland since 1990, and had been Director of the Canadian Centre at the University of Warsaw for the past 16 years. We had talked about the possibility of me visting there and even getting poems translated into Polish because of our shared Serbian book.
Last week, Nancy died after a supposedly easy operation on one of her legs. Very sudden. Very unexpected.
misty half moon and one starT-shirt: The Word on the Street
over fredericton in night sky
i have not yet seen a sunrise
in poland or a night in warsaw
nancy burke will see no more
may a raucous thousand crows caw
her name from bare-branched trees
above the frozen earth
temp: -14 C
sound: Neil Young, Unplugged