Graining the Mare: The Poetry of Ranch Women

Edited and with photographs by Teresa Jordan
Gibbs Smith Publisher

“Born out of intimate relationship to land and animals, to weather and seasons, to friends and family, the poems collected here are true to the heart, close to the earth, and unflinching. This is fresh poetry, nourished by both beauty and crisis. Rural women have only recently begun to write this honestly about their lives.”
— from the introduction by Teresa Jordan

Including the work of nationally known authors such as Gretel Ehrlich, Linda Hasslestrom, Linda Hogan and Linda Hussa; stars of the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada such as Thelma Poirier, Marie Smith, and mother and daughter Myrt and Sue Wallis; and some relative newcomers, these poems are grounded in the specific details of ranch life yet touch on experiences that are common to us all. They tell of loneliness and heartache, of sweet births and gut-wrenching deaths, of horses loved and livestock nurtured. These women tell the stories of each other and draw from the strength of women who have gone it alone in the harsh seasons of life.

“This anthology is a rich encyclopedia of western women’s lives on the land. Every sort of ministering is contained here: lambing, calving, foaling, watering, haying, fencing, cooking, raising children, doing whatever needs to be done. The courage and the lyricism implicit in these poems have for the most part gone unrecognized. This collection provides us with a valuable document for the ages.
— Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Connecting the Dots and Women, Animals, and Vegetables

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