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Della Who

by Charlotte Nekola

Della Who, cover

Can a dream be documented? Is a document really a dream? These questions surface in the poems of Charlotte Nekola's collection, Della Who. In works both lyrical and wry, the poems inhabit landscapes too real to be real, shaded both by wonder and darkness. The poems travel from Brooklyn to Missouri prairies, from Atlantic islands, to Prague, and the sea. They probe complex relationships—mothers, fathers, children, lovers. At the same time, they hold a mirror of the self to the imagined self.

The poems in Charlotte Nekola's collection, Della Who, have both power and grace, a rare combination. They delve into the past but remain firmly anchored in the present, in the poet's time and place. I love their formal restraint and their freedom of spirit. I love above all the truths they tell.
      —Pablo Medina, author of Cubop City Blues

Though they are not in the least dreamy, the poems in this astonishing collection compel like vivid dreams. They have the mystery of classic foreign films—if when you left the theater you could taste salt on your lips and smell the scent of sassafras root. The title poem, "Della Who," gives us a true woman of mystery—who is and is not Della Street, Perry Mason's secretary. She is a savannah, a river, mud on an apron—a street. A street with red lips and white gloves, “the minimum qualifications.”
       —Arlene Weiner, author of Escape Velocity

Charlotte Nekola is a professor of English at William Paterson University. Her previous books are Dream House: A Memoir and Writing Red: An Anthology of American Women Writers, 1930–1940. Her writing has appeared in publications including New Letters, Massachusetts Review, Wide Angle, Cottonwood Review, and the New York Times. She was awarded Fulbright Teaching Fellowships for the University of Rome and the University of Liege. She received New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowships in Fiction and Poetry. She makes her home in New Jersey and Maine.

Cover design by Colleen M. Boswell


Della pressed
the shapely
ferns of Della
toward her forehead.
Anytime she felt like it.

ISBN 978-1-933974-14-9

Ordering Information


Title Author ISBN-13 Price US$ Shipping US$
Della Who by Charlotte Nekola 978-1-933974-14-9 $15 each USA: $4.00 for one book; $1 each additional book
Canada: $5.00 for one book; $2 each additional book
Other non-US: $10.00 for one book; $4 each additional book

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