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Collection of Poems Captures a Family's Story

'Caught In Passing,' a collection of poems by Zan Bockes

During this program, Zan Bockes talks about writing her way through grief, and her adult perspective on an abusive childhood. She also reads from her collection of poetry, Caught In Passing.

The poems in Caught in Passing capture moments that, seemingly evanescent, encompass what is enduring.

"In the manner of Northwest poets Richard Hugo and Theodore Roethke, Zan Bockes tells a universal family tale with great eloquence and sincerity. She explores the complex structure created by one family and the ghost architecture that remains in their absence. One cannot help but feel tremendous tenderness and admiration for this poet's story." - Sandra Alcosser

"In Zan Bockes' Caught in Passing we inhabit a survivor's landscape, beautiful and terrifying at once. Yet there is comfort here too that comes from the poet's courage to confront the architecture of grief, loss, and love she builds page by page. Always Bockes' precise and careful language carries us through." - Phil Condon

"Zan Bockes' original voice captivates with music, rhythm and resilience, with such precision of memory, it's time travel. This work is living proof that poetry is salvation." - Sheryl Noethe

"This is a profoundly personal and elegiac book, a tragic arc that not only purges us of pity and terror as Aristotle would have it, but reminds us how necessary both are to the desperate business of life-or that portion of it that can be Caught in Passing." - Art Homer

"This debut collection by Zan Bockes takes its readers on the heart-wrenching, conflicted journey through memory from the pain and confusion of childhood toward the tenuous clarity of adult wisdom. The terrible ambivalence is rendered with a surgeon's skill, salvaging what healthy tissue remains of a still-loving soul, and the redemptive power of forgiveness for those who have injured us." - Richard Duggin

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Zan Bockes
Zan Bockes

Zan Bockes (pronounced "Bacchus") was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Montana in Missoula. She has had four nominations for the Pushcart Prize and numerous publications of fiction, poetry and nonfiction in various literary magazines. She remains in Missoula with her partner, Mike Kincaid, and together they have raised two exceptional cats.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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