White Mountains, Nevada

Nevada Narratives Poetry Contest Winner

We had quite a few wonderful submissions to the Nevada Narratives “Where I’m From” poetry contest. I will be posting all of them in the weeks to come.

But first, the winner.

Sometimes a short visit to a place where your imagination is fully engaged produces the most intense experiences that stay with you through your life. They help to make you who you are.

Netherlands resident, Milla van der Have captured the contest theme beautifully with her poem, “On the way home”.

Milla stayed in Virgina City as a participant in a writing residency. While there, she wrote a book of poetry about the area. The winning poem appears in her book Ghosts of Old Virginny and was originally published in the Kentucky Review.

On the way home

An hour into Oregon, the thought of dust
all but brushed off by airport numbness
and the chance of taking flight.

Nevada’s sands still linger
in an unseen place, perhaps.

You’ll find them when you undress
one winter evening, the moon glaring
coldly ahead.

Or they’ll rise up, a pack of memories
on some bright Dutch river or when you
paddle a thousand silver lakes.

You’ll think of them, the rough-patched soul
of the desert, the sagebrush that just can’t
be undone and that strenuous line of
mountains crying battle-born

at sundown when the world yet again
gives in to land and you know
home is whatever you round up along the way.

This poem was first published in The Kentucky Review

Milla van der Have (1975) wrote her first poem at 16, during a physics class. She has been writing ever since. Her work has been published in various magazines, both in the US and UK, One of her short stories won a New Millennium Fiction Award. In 2015, she published Ghosts of Old Virginny, a chapbook of poems about Virginia City. Milla lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

I know many of you are great poets and storytellers. Submit your poems and stories for publication on Nevada Narratives.

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