Kelly Cherry

Kelly Cherry

Kelly Cherry is the author of nineteen books of poetry, novels, short stories, criticism, and memoir—including the just-released Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life and The Retreats of Thought: Poems—eight chapbooks, and two translations of classical plays. Her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and New Stories from the South, and her collection The Society of Friends: Stories received the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award in 2000 for the best short story collection of 1999. For her body of work in poetry she has received the Hanes Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

She is Eudora Welty Professor Emerita of English and Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has held named chairs and distinguished visiting writer positions at a number of universities. She and her husband, Burke Davis III, live on a small farm in Virginia.


The quiet sea abided,
the sun was strong.
Pines rushed down the hillside,
a throng
of them, whispering about
the crazy birds in their hair.
A bird flew out
to eat a pear
dropped in an orchard.
A strange scene
it was, the houses beneath palms,
the sea unearthly green.
The pear was fly-specked,
the orchard drowsing.
The sun stayed long,
a golden ring of light,
then sank out of sight.

Poetry in this post: © Kelly Cherry
Published with the permission of Kelly Cherry