Nancy L. Penrose, Writer and Editor,   Selected Essays



Two Studios

"In your studio—below the high windows that allowed the light to pour in, within the presence of your sculptures of stone, bronze, plaster, of paintings on easels, paintings stacked on the balcony, for you were also a very good painter—I settled in. Together we took up the long work of writing the story of your years as a young artist in Paris, years that set you, Angela Gregory, on your track to a six-decade career as a sculptor in your home territory of Louisiana."

Ekphrastic Review>


Curious Blue: Captured by Woad

"Woad is an old color. A conversation with history. A natural dye. An ugly plant. Locked in green leaves, compounds that break into pigments of blue. Blues that can be as bold as a Blue Jay feather or as tender as an azure sky at dawn, as dark as ink or as milky as glacial ice."

HandEye Magazine>




Time Missing in the Grand Canyon

"On a raft trip through the Grand Canyon of North America, time was absent. Yet time past was recorded in all the rock walls that rose around me."

Blue Lyra Review>

DRM Grand Canyon.jpg


Firefly River

" I seek to live a pleasure twice. What beckons is a dark river and a silent symphony of light. A memory of a night when trees pulsed with a bioluminescent glow. It was 1992 on the Selangor River. West Malaysia. Flashing on and off in synchrony, congregating fireflies. In Malay they are kelip-kelip."

1966 Journal (p.80) >

No firefly picking sign.jpg


Dumpling Impulse: Discovering Mandut Guk in Seoul

"Looking into the front window from the alley, I had seen a large tray of dumplings. They were like a fleet of perfectly spaced fat boats sailing across the silver surface of a pond.."




The Dead Cities of Syria

"Within the neighborhood of memories that are journeys, I have a house that is Syria. I began the building before I left home: I read guidebooks, made reservations, got visas."



Walking on Seafloor in Iceland

"We traveled to Iceland, writer and photographer, to feast upon the island's volcanoes and geysers, ice caps and shorelines, hot springs and headlands. We went to walk on seafloor that has recently emerged at the surface of the planet, to observe for ourselves some of Earth's newest scenery."

Foliate Oak>

Stykkishólmur Harbor_sm.jpg



Saffron and Nukes

   "It was the smells and tastes of food that struck the gongs of memory: the fragrant steam off a platter of rice; the chewy smokiness of flatbread fresh from the oven...."

Transitions Abroad>

"The Photos Were Like Paintings" The Ekphrastic Review, 8 February 2017

"But for me the gardens were fragmented and shattered by the crowds. It was as if I were seeing the broken shards of a stained glass window."

"Letter to the Changing Memories of my Mother" DASH Literary Journal 8, Spring 2015

"Hauling memories to daylight does change them. Is that so bad?"

"Mapping Color" HandEye Magazine, 15 October 2014

"Our children are cousins; their fathers are brothers. This is the scaffolding of our thirty-three years of friendship. Here, on the coast, within a delicious saturation of time together, we have met in search of collaboration, at least a beginning. Writer (text); weaver, dyer (textile)."

• "The Golden Onsen: Bathing in Japan" Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee Literary Review (Winter 2013)

"...the golden waters are born from deep within the Earth, from molten rock, magma, that released fluids as it cooled. These are the deep brines of Arima, rich with iron, the source of their reddish brown color. Like cloudy tea. Like red smoke. Like rust."

• "Tales From Chinese Calligraphy" Marco Polo Arts Magazine (September 2011)

"I was illiterate. To my eyes the lines and dots of Chinese writing were little more than mystic squiggles. Yet I was living in Singapore where the characters flock upon signs, windows, shops, and scrolls, even grocery receipts. Then I met an artist, a Chinese calligrapher, whose lessons led me through the mysteries of this ancient art."

• "The Smell of Silk" Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture (2011)

"I am a writer, not a weaver, but I am drawn to the language of color, culture, and texture of handwoven textiles conveyed through the alchemy of technique."

• "Flamenco Form" Solas Award Winner, 2007; published, The Best Travel Writing 2008; anthologized, The Soul of a Great Traveler, 2018

 "With a stomp of heels she announces her beginning and flies into a swirl of skirt and snapping fingers. She lights a staccato of zapateado that sounds like a woodpecker gone mad in the forest."