We asked the 97 contributors to the Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, October 2016) to send photos featuring the book in their home environments. Author Phyllis Klein provided this portrait of herself and collection at the San Francisco Cable Car Turnaround.. Phyllis contributed the poem “Ode to Mildred Wirt,” featured below, to the 212-page anthology.

Ode to Mildred Wirt Benson

          First of twenty-eight to write Nancy Drew books
          under the Carolyn Keene pen name

So many characters to write
about in a 96-year life. Ghost
writer, snail in a shell.
Can you believe you created
one hundred thirty-five books
of heroines and girl-role models?

And on top of that
you were a jungle traveler,
canoer, air pilot.
All this and also Nancy Drew,
your achievement, girls’ rescue
from loneliness, inspiration,
spunky friend,
Nancy, with a flashlight,
intrepid, empowered.
Nancy on a staircase
with another mystery under foot.

Mildred, it took being 95
for you to get a special
Edgar Award from
the Mystery Writers
of America, when you could
finally be the butterfly you always
were. Free of the chrysalis,
Nancy’s rightful mother at last,
your blockbuster daughter
bringing you out into the family.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In the way of a true confession, I read Penny Nichols as a kid, not Nancy Drew. I was a voracious reader so It’s odd how my horizons were limited, and no reason comes to mind. Lucky for me, I discovered that Mildred Wirt Benson was the author of all the Penny Nichols books. That’s how I came to write my tribute poem to her. And another good thing is that I can discover Nancy now.  ¶ I live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area as a psychotherapist and poetry therapist. My office in San Francisco is right at the starting point for the Powell Street Cable car line. I highly recommend a ride. I’m sure Nancy and Penny would have loved to solve a mystery involving this city landmark.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Phyllis Klein believes in poetry. Her work has appeared in the Pharos of Alpha Omega Medical Society JournalQarrtsiluni online literary magazine, Silver Birch Press, New Verse NewsCrosswinds Poetry Journal, and othersand is forthcoming in Chiron Review. She is very interested in the conversation between poets and readers of poetry. She sees artistic dialogue as an intimate relationship-building process that fosters healing on many levels. Visit her at phyllisklein.com.

Find the Nancy Drew Anthology at Amazon.com.