About Nancy Shiffrin’s Poetry
“THE VAST UNKNOWING collects a wide spectrum of poetry from Nancy Shiffrin...One of her main questions is Who are we? What made us that person? She explores a number of sources of our identity....The poem, 'My Shoah' brings together many of her disparate threads—family, religion, evil, details from her personal history—and makes them work together. When she is at her best, as in this poem, Shiffrin produces deep powerful poetry”. G. Murray Thomas, poetix.net
“Buckle up. Hold tight! THE VAST UNKNOWING is like riding the roller coaster. It will plunge you into despair, exhilarate you, shake you to the depths of your being, terrify you, elate, disturb. And leave you weak-kneed, dizzy and delighted that you saw it through to a safe landing. A ride not to be missed. ... words as weapons, words as balm, sometimes words that puzzle, words that arouse...In her poem, 'At the Writers' Retreat', Shiffrin quotes Anais Nin, 'There are no writer's blocks, only secrets we are afraid of telling.' Nancy Shiffrin isn't afraid. And no one will remain indifferent to the virtuoso power with which she reveals her secrets”. Ricky Rapoport Friesem, Poetica Magazine
“Nancy Shiffrin's new book of poetry, THE VAST UNKNOWING, rekindled my fascination with Anais Nin.... Both writers explore personal relationships, the chaos of inner struggle, the beauty of nature, and sense awareness. The section on Fairy Tales calls to mind Nin's fascination with dreams and her continuous probing of the creative spirit...There is a frankness in Shiffrin's work that matches Nin's journals, and a similar autobiographical tone”. Karen Kane, Paris by Design.
“'September, 2001' (published here as 'Lamentation') touches us by conveying vividly not only the horror of the victims' ordeal but also the humanity of the perpetrators.” Liz Zelvin, AOL Social Work Forum Newsletter
“Nancy Shiffrin’s poems convey a social consciousness that is often lacking in literature today. I love the way they speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.” Dianna Henning, MFA, Lassen County Arts Council