Excerpts from THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ADMIRAL DOT, by Nance Van Winckel

This series, which I call The Further Adventures of Admiral Dot, combines two sources. One is a set of newspaper illustrations published in 1915 as part of a publication called “How Man Learned to Fly.” (I found these on the PBS website.) The other source is Wonderful Balloon Ascents, by Fulgence Marion, published in 1870. These pages I found on the Public Domain Review website – my go-to place for source materials.

To make these collages, I rework, reshape, and/or recolor the pieces; I do some interweaving of images, migrating bits from one source into pieces from the other, repeating elements. Then I add my own text and my own character, Admiral Dot. I do all of this work digitally. The story takes shape as I construct the individual pieces. I think of the “story” as a story of arrogance, of “taking TO” the skies as really a “taking OF” the skies – or a reframing of the Icarus tale.




















Nance Van Winckel‘s fifth book of fiction is Ever Yrs., a novel in the form of a scrapbook (2014, Twisted Road Publications); her eighth book of poems is Our Foreigner (Beyond Baroque Press, 2017, winner of the Pacific Coast Poetry Series). Her book of visual poetry entitled Book of No Ledge appeared in 2016 with Pleiades Press. The recipient of two NEA Poetry Fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner, she has new poems in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Field, Poetry Northwest, and Gettysburg Review. She is on the MFA faculties of Vermont College of Fine Arts and E. Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers.