Waltzing with Horses by Felicia Mitchell


Waltzing with Horses by Felicia Mitchell


9 x 6 paperback, 108 pages

ISBN: 978-1-941209-08-0

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Praise for Waltzing with Horses

"Reading Felicia Mitchell's stunning collection, Waltzing with Horses, is like spending a few life-changing hours with one of those wise women we read about in fairy tales. She knows the names of each plant and flower, and teaches us that every living thing, from the tiniest sparrow to a herd of wild horses, is sacred. And holiest of all, she whispers, is not only our connection to the earth, but to our deepest selves, and to every person we have ever loved."  

Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds and In the Palms of Angels

“This beautiful, magnificent book touched me almost beyond words. Felicia Mitchell is a poet whose voice matters, and here she enters a rare and healing place of art and grace. This volume, with its spare, moving words, will be with me for the rest of my days.” 

Philip Lee Williams, author of Elegies for the Water and The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram

“In a deceptively simple and sometimes whimsical voice, Felicia Mitchell's Waltzing with Horses leads us into the varied levels of a woman's life. As the narrator in ‘in the Realm of Grass’ says, ‘I know how to stand my ground,/ how to lay down the lawnmower,/ how to forget the scythe rusting in the shed,/ how to let grass lead me to quail and mice/ and violets that bloom between its margins/ like so many stellar thoughts.’ Stellar, indeed, these poems of a mother's love, the intricate balances life demands (a son to raise and teach, daughters she never birthed, to bemoan the absence of), the tender care of daughter to aging mother, the ever-present specter of death as the narrator herself struggles with breast cancer. Waltzing with Horses is a brave and amazing book—read it for its insights, stories, and wisdom, but most of all, read it for its heart.”

Jeff Daniel Marion, author of Ebbing & Flowing Springs and Father

Felicia Mitchell has the wonderful gift of seeing the world at a slant, or slightly off-center; her view takes in what others leave out. In poems of celebration and mourning, she shows us horses waltzing. "On a day without a poem," she writes, "there is no need for meter— / just the beat of a heart or two / for good measure." Many of these poems are playful. One poem shows us "the angel of death disguised as a park bench." Other poems rescue us from daily hardship, turning it into profoundest grace. This is a book everyone needs to read.

Kelly Cherry, former Poet Laureate of Virginia and author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems


About the Author

Felicia Mitchell was born in Sumter, South Carolina, in 1956, and moved with her parents and three brothers to North Carolina, where she spent her early childhood in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. In 1966, she moved with her family to Columbia, South Carolina, where she attended the University of South Carolina (B.A., M.A.) after graduating from Booker T. Washington High School. She spent four years working in Athens, Georgia, before moving to Austin, Texas, to get a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. In Austin, she became active as a poet and taught her first poetry workshops through the Texas Union Informal Classes program. Since 1987, Mitchell has made her home in rural Washington County, Virginia. She teaches English at Emory & Henry College, where she received the William Carrington Finch Award for Faculty Excellence in 2011 and the James A. Davis Faculty Award in 2013. In addition to publishing poetry and nonfiction in journals, anthologies, and chapbooks, she has written articles for journals such as College Composition and Communication, Mid-American Review, and Poets & Writers Magazine. Scholarly work includes Her Words. Diverse Voices in Contemporary Appalachian Women’s Poetry, which she compiled and edited for University of Tennessee Press (2002).