Today and next Sunday we will be spotlighting Mary Jane Nealon, who brings us to the intersection of beauty and harsh reality again and again in her poems.  She is a blessed guide in the lands where poetry can hold what we don’t want to see while reminding us that life is the all of it.   


Printed with the permission of the author.

senior portraitMary Jane Nealon, RN, MFA, is a poet and nonfiction writer living in Missoula, Montana.  She has been the recipient of a number of fellowships, including the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts ,and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship.  Her memoir, Beautiful Unbroken: One Nurse’s Life won the Bakeless Literary Prize and was published by Graywolf Press in 2011. Four Way Books has published Nealon’s Rogue Apostle and Immaculate Fuel.  She has served as the Director of Integration at Partnership Health Center in Missoula since 2006.


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  • Nana Gregory May 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I find Mary Jane Nealson’s poetry powerful and evocative, and I admire the juxtapostioning of viewing Keifer with the poignant reality of Nealson’s life experience. Thought provoking.

    Thank you, WVFC, for introducing me to talented poets with whom I am not at all familiar – both the works and the sensitive introductions to each poet are very much appreciated.

  • ellen sue spicer-jacobson September 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

    The imagery is wonderful, but this is more t=like a vignette of life rather than a poem. What has happened to rhyme? Bring back Dorothy Parker!