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Praise for Catherine Breese Davis: on the Life & Work of an American Master




This book wholly succeeds in its aim, to bring to the life and work of a virtually unknown poet some belated due attention. I hope that attention will focus chiefly on Davis’s masterly verse rather than her ill-starred life. Her poems offer pleasures that are strikingly individualized, sometimes intense, and never cozy.  —Robert B. Shaw, Able Muse

Catherine Breese Davis: On the Life and Work of an American Master is an inspired tribute to a gifted woman. Read this book, and be rewarded with her courageous and beautiful words. —Valerie Wieland, New Pages  [CLICK for the full review]


With this new book, editors Collins, Prufer and Rock have given life to Davis’ poems once again. Once read, no one can take them back. No matter what, we can read and take pleasure in what she wrote. She gives us life. —Julie R. Enszer, Lamba Literary   [CLICK for the full review]


“I have admired Catherine Davis’s exquisitely sculpted lyrics for over forty years. But it has been futile to recommend her work to others because it has been nearly impossible for anyone to find the poems, most of which were never published in book form. What a gift to have this lost poet restored to us.” —Dana Gioia


“Catherine Breese Davis fills an important but unsung niche in the tradition of women’s poetry in the U.S. — and now unsung no more. The editors of this book have given us a brilliant selection from Davis’s poems, combined with illuminating writings about her work and life. This volume is a true labor of love, a priceless introduction to a lucid, poignant, and unflinching poet.” —Annie Finch


“‘Go, little book,’ Catherine Breese Davis intones, echoing the venerable tradition of the envoi as she announces herself to the world. But the poetry of Davis renders the poetry of ages past with singular immediacy, whether wandering dark woods with Dante, warbling with Wyatt, dwelling in indolence with Keats, invoking the winged madness of Baudelaire, or chanting with Herrick of the burnished shores of poetry. This is a poet who knows ‘how to hold in mind / a place — a house or river scene — / That keeps an earlier time intact.’ That earlier time is woven of houses and rivers but also the great voices of the past who serve not as masters but as contemporaries, interlocutors, and companions.Davis is a poet seeking answers anywhere they arise — in tragedies ancient (the Eumenides) or contemporary (the assassination of MLK). ‘How does it help to see / How sick we are / Or to find out where we erred?’ wonders Davis. These unsung songs are living puzzles that ‘master time.’” —Joseph Campana






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