Nancy Scott: Invitation to Browse


Coming Soon:

Main Street Rag will be publishing my seventh book, RUNNING DOWN BROKEN CEMENT this summer. It is a collection of narrative poems inspired by my work for the State of New Jersey over several decades. Watch for the opening date for discounted presales of the book directly from Main Street Rag. If you want to be notifed of the exact date, email me at and I will put your name on a mailing list. ________________________________________________________________

Kelley Jean White, MD, has characterized the poems like this: Nancy Scott is truly a voice crying in the wilderness, the American wilderness of broken cement and breaking lives. She has earned her voice by years of work among the poorest of our poor, with those struggling on the edges of our broken systems of health, education, and welfare. She has listened carefully and now bears witness to the sufferings and triumphs of our neighbors, those neighbors we have turned our backs on and failed to love as we love ourselves. You may need to read this book slowly, a few poems at a time, but you need to read it. These are not pretty stories–they will trouble your spirit and break your heart. Scott’s people will stay with you, those who are hungry, unhoused, sometimes angry, yet often wise and forgiving. You’ll watch Rosalita tenderly care for a child despite her broken body, meet Andre and Woody, Tyrone and Calvin, Danielle and Balfour, young people struggling to find reasons and ways to live on our bleakest streets, wait with Marisol at the welfare office and free clinic.  You’ll also visit Myra, nearly eighty, who counsels parents of suicides, Roland, who’s learning to cook ‘as a blind man,’ Mary, who at 81 pleads to have her apartment back. Nancy Scott opens these doors for us, doors we might prefer to leave shut. She makes us hear the voices of people we will try to forget. Nancy Scott shows us the truth. Her work should be on school curriculums. It should be studied by students of medicine, nursing, social work, and law. It should inform economists and legislators. We ought to read into the Congressional Record. We need to pay attention to her cries.


Lake Carnegie, Late Afternoon

Orange sky slips below the tree line.
College oarsmen, stroke by stroke,
slice ever-graying water.

On the road, arms awhirl, a legless man,
wheelchair-bound, placard round his neck—
I’m a homeless Vet.

All race against the fading light,
resolute on course.
One outwitting midnight’s chill,
others to the boathouse.


I invite you to continue through the site for selections of my poetry, my artwork, and my books. And as you browse, consider buying a book for yourself or a friend, or beautiful reproductions of my artwork to linger over.

Do you need a poet for your next reading, a speaker for your next event, a workshop facilitator, or help with compiling your poetry into a book?

Contact me at