Nancy Takacs

Nancy Takacs was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, and spent summers working in a Manhattan department store while going to college, starting out as a watercolorist also interested in fashion design and song-writing. She discovered poetry in a creative writing class at Jersey City State College, and went on to attend the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, earning an MFA in Poetry. Living on her husband’s family’s farm/wild-life refuge in Ohio, she felt a strong connection to it, and began writing about it, before moving in 1983 to Carbon County, Utah, where she still lives and continues to be drawn to nature and the outdoors. 

Author of several books of poems, Nancy is an emerita professor at USU Eastern/CEU. She teaches poetry workshops privately and for communities of writers. She began a Memory Café in 2019 for poetry lovers who have memory loss, and for several years has taught a weekly poetry workshop to poets of all ages, at the Carbon County Senior Center. She is currently the inaugural Poet Laureate of Helper City, Utah.

The Worrier poems received the 2016 Juniper Prize for Poetry, the 2018 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Blue Patina was awarded the 2016 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry. The recipient of a 2020 Pushcart Prize, for her poem “Dearest Water,” she has  received the 2016 runner-up award for the Missouri Review Editor’s Prize, Weber’s Sherwin Howard Award for Poetry, the Nation/Discovery Award, awards from the UAC’s Original Writing Competition, and two writing fellowships from Ucross. For many years, she was a UAC Artist-in-the-schools and taught poetry to students, as well as to inmates in the Gunnison, Utah, correctional facility.

Nancy continues to host writers and create poetry events in Spring Glen and Helper through the Steamboat Mountain Readers/Workshop Series, and through her new laureateship. She lives in Wellington, Utah, with her husband poet Jan Minich, and spends time in Bayfield, Wisconsin, near Lake Superior. Their son, Ian Minich, is an alternative-methods photographer in Salt Lake City.



  • The Worrier poems, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 2017
  • Red Voice, Finishing Line Press (Georgetown, KY), 2016
  • Blue Patina, Blue Begonia Press, 2015
  • Juniper, Limberlost Press (Boise, ID), 2012
  • Wild Animals, Outlaw Artists Press, 2008
  • Preserves, City Art Press, 2004.
  • Pale Blue Wings, Limberlost Press (Boise, ID), 2001.


15 Bytes Book Review of Blue Patina

15 Bytes Book Award