Holding For The Farrier

Finishing Line Press (2007)

Like a finely wrought atlas, Holding for the Farrier describes many exotic and ordinary regions we might visit, as well as the circuitous paths we are often forced to travel in order to get from one place to another. From one exhibit to the next in a crowded museum. From childhood to adulthood. From the position of disconnected bystander in the lives of friends and loved ones, to that of an engaged participant willing to share in their troubles as well as their joys. Her poems reveal the essential alchemy involved in putting one foot in front of another, in taking each irrevocable first step toward the future, despite any apprehensions we may have that sorrow awaits us there. Only a god can see the way forward and the way back all at once.  Happiness might, after all, lie just beyond that next shadowed archway. . .

—Excerpt From Review By Randy Marshall, Blackbird (Fall 2008)


What we may first notice about Kathy Davis’s poetry is a display of range and erudition that is almost dizzying. The poet is in sure command of her material, and her subjects are drawn from both high culture and low, from the Regency England of painter George Stubbs to the Opryland Nashville of Minnie Pearl. But what most counts in her writing is something that runs deeper than sensibility and constitutes the sort of highly individualized reckoning with our troublesome world which we look for in enduring poetry. These are wry, ironical and sometimes ferocious poems, and Holding for the Farrier is a memorable debut.

—David Wojahn, Author Of Interrogation Palace: New And Selected Poems 1982-2004


I’ve admired Kathy Davis’s poems for many years. I love her image-thick lines and the way they depict one scene and then bump into another, as if by accident. We make the connection, as we do with the Parthenon and Minnie Pearl’s hat, or as in “Ars Poetica,” the taxidermist creating a fox from road kill, a son making up a mother from fragments, a poet making a poem.

—Elizabeth Seydel Morgan, Author Of Without A Philosophy


An unflinching gaze and a gift for language whose precision is the elegance sought by science, a passionate sensuality refined by an intelligence whose untiring urge is to question—these qualities of mind have created a body of poetry which develops so swiftly and fully that you cannot easily extricate yourself from the engagement it demands. “What does the body know?” These poems by Kathy Davis offer a secret and necessary knowledge of the flesh, a compelling journey seeking the animating spirit, and an abundance of revelation along the unpredictable way which leads towards insights that are both comfort and calamity.

—Gregory Donovan, Author Of Calling His Children Home