From the battles for civil rights and equal rights, to war and its aftermath, to the enduring tragedies of drugs, racism, poverty, and disease that play out daily in American cities, to the interior dramas of her life, Nancy Scott opens our eyes through the compassionate lens of her poetry. With a deceptively stoical tone, Down to the Quick reveals a sharp-eyed poet's sensibility deftly applied to the social realities and cultural shocks of the second half of “the American century.” 

Sander Zulauf, Editor, Journal of New Jersey Poets


Nancy Scott’s poems - always precise and polished – reflect her love for language that is alive and charged with meaning. Her work is guided by a moral vision that leads her to understand and empathize with people who are hurt, forgotten, and victimized. After reading her poems we come away with a greater awareness and understanding of our endless human connections.

Sam Longmire, Editor, Out of Line


Nancy Scott’s Down to the Quick is a powerful collection of poems that evoke images of passion and loss, pain and joy, survival and death. Her book presents vivid, emotionally charged pictures of an era some forty years ago, as well as scenes from present life, dramatic moments made real and meaningful in her skillful conversion of plain-spoken language into wonderful poetry.

Poet Jean Hollander’s most recent publication, a verse translation of Dante’s Commedia with Doubleday.


A terrific debut book of poems. Whether Nancy Scott is writing about city streets, war veterans, memorable characters, her childhood, or her many years spent finding Section 8 housing for low-income families, her poems are filled with an uncommon engagement and magic. The magic comes from the language: condensed lines, clear and powerful imagery, unique ways of looking at people and social situations, mental leaps from one line to the next, and surpise phrasings and poem-endings. The book is both an accessible joy and an unpredictable jolt to read.

Eliot Katz, author of Unlocking the Exits


Down to the Quick, copyright Nancy Scott, 2007, ISBN: 978-1-891386-63-3

Publisher: PLAIN VIEW PRESS, P.O.Box 42255, Austin TX 78704, phone/fax 512-441-2452
"Plain View Press is a 32-year-old issue-based literary publishing house. We have published 180 titles and more than 300 writers from many countries. Despite evidence that relentless violence has taken root world-wide, there is hope and there are artists to show the human face of it. We publish contemporary literature."  Susan Bright, Poet/Publisher, 2007

Original cover art: The Closing Night Party, Community Art Project, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA ©KURT STOECKEL and MARTIN WHITNEY.

To view the entire artwork on the back and front covers of the book, view the original art at

Autographed copies can be ordered for $12.00, plus $2.00 postage. Contact Nancy at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it