Under the Catalpa Tree by Nancy G. Allinson


Nancy Allinson is a Maryland poet whose work has appeared in Poet Lore, The Federal Poet, Minimus, Potomac Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, District Lines, Winners - A Retrospective of the Washington Prize, The Word Works,  and elsewhere.  Her chapbook, “Harmony not yet Broken,” was published by Finishing Lines Press in 2015.  In 2019, she and Martin Dickinson, co-authored “What a Windstorm Teaches,” Opus Self-Publishing and Sligo Creek Press. Nancy’s other accomplishments in poetry include: Jenny  McKean fellow; a winner of “Bethesda 8 Trolley Poetry Bench” competition;  and she was one of eight finalists in “Say the Word National Cosmological Poetry Competition. You can see her poems on benches in Bethesda, MD.  Nancy retired from federal service in 2011, where she worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard (civilian), and the National Science Foundation.  Next to poetry, music, in particular, singing, is a passion of Nancy’s that goes hand in hand with poetry.

"Inside the covers of the book, Under the Catalpa Tree, I discovered lovely poetry. Often, I experience this genre as obtuse and confusing. I shake my head, aware that words have been placed together beautifully. However, the meaning lies in an unreachable place. Not so with the poetry in Nancy Allinsons newest book, Under the Catalpa Tree. The poems are contemporary—current--and will be comprehended easily by adult readers, though not simplistic or sophomoric in the least. I googled catalpa tree, unfamiliar with the species. Found in temperate and subtropical zones, it is a well-formed flowering tree, producing ample shade. The tree appears perfect for sitting under on a warm day. The foliage forms a rounded shape. I read the book of poetry in the warmth of my apartment, unable to perch under a tree during the dark, cold days of winter. Ms. Allinson has created readable poems which describe the past and present in a sad yet hopeful tone. Her verses refer to elderly relatives, her youth, a current loving relationship, nature, and the ubiquitous virus named COVID-19."

—Karen Levi