Between Storms

Carol V. Davis


In these lyrical poems, Carol V. Davis explores earthy and mysterious themes.

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In these lyrical poems, Carol V. Davis explores earthy and mysterious themes. A well-known fairy tale or historical figure is given a contemporary twist. Using haunting imagery, art, the natural world, and place, Between Storms raises questions of faith and reflects on doubts.

In ravishing line after line, Carol V. Davis balances between cultures, between generations, and yes, between storms. She traces her family’s odyssey back to the old world against the tide of survivors escaping from it. She takes us on her own exploration of the American West, where “wind slaps dark against the valley walls,” and “the land flattens in a sigh,” where in the luminous title poem, her dead rise up to protect her, and where she learns along the way, regarding fear, that “the face is/on both sides of the window.” The voice of these poems is true and constant, finding a still, tender center in the upheaval of living.

—Elaine Terranova

At her best, Carol V. Davis creates a stark and feeling poetry that is palpable with impending threat as well as with the recurring and sour tang of history. But Davis can also conjure up the beauty amid the terror, so that while “the dark drops its burden/all night long, deepening/” she also shows us how the sky looks “as it empties its buckets/of stars.”

—Enid Shomer

When I began this collection, firmly embedded in my own world, I never expected to find myself so fully engaged in Davis’ world, my passport stamped with one wondrous visit after another to the unique accents of image and vision in her poems. I don’t know where the conversion takes place—is it between “Marshland” and “Roots.”?—that the reader realizes he has experienced something between memorable and miracle.

—George Ellenbogen

Even as there is something trapped in the unfurling of petals, there is something trapped in the surface of Davis’s poems in Between Storms that is singing to us. Hard to tell if it is an owl, a mocking bird, or the muse trying to reach us. No matter if the subject is of hunger, ancestral fear, or refuge; no matter if our goal is to draw the shades or cross the expanse, we have no choice but to put down our luggage and risk listening.

—Scott Hightower



The Way Light Begins to Fold on Itself
Pairing the Animals
Between Storms
Mockingbird II
With No Definite End
Fear II
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
The Black of Everything

The Chair
The Icon Painter
Summer of Love
Driving Late at Night in Hollywood with a Foreign Visitor
The Closing
Each Time the Doors Open
This Month in Michigan
The Woman Afraid of Buttons
In Dying Order
The Spiral

Eating Crow
Sea Monsters
Say I Believe
A Scattering of Stones
Before Dark
Fire Ant
New Math
Defying Gravity
Guy Fawkes Day
Instruction in Witchcraft
London Bridge
The Insomniac

The Art of the Stitch
Bleak with Trees
Career Change
Singer and His Sewing Machine
Merce Cunningham and the Music
On a Stretch of Coastline
Lucy Bakewell Audubon Sets the Record Straight
The Anatomy of a Palm and the Confluence of Lines
Leonard Bernstein Speaks to Me
Chocolate and the Afterlife
Cobbler from Yerevan
Copper and Steel
The Apple

About the Author


Winner of the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize, Carol V. Davis is the author of Into the Arms of Pushkin. She has also published a bilingual collection, It’s Time to Talk About, and two chapbooks, Letters From Prague and The Violin Teacher. She was a senior Fulbright scholar in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1996–97 and 2005. She teaches at Santa Monica College, California.


The calm periods of life are truly worth cherishing. Between Storms is a collection of award winning poetry from Carol V. Davis, who brings her prolific career together with this latest volume. With humor and a touch of appreciation, Between Storms is a strongly recommended pick for general poetry collections.

Midwest Book Review

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