Buckley's poems have appeared in Bellingham Review, The Cafe
Review, North American Review, Shenandoah, Slipstream and
numerous anthologies. She holds an MFA from Spalding
University and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press, 2008) and Follow Me
Down (Tebot Bach, 2009).
A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee (poetry and creative nonfiction),
Kate's awards include a Gabeheart Prize and the North American
Review's James Hearst Poetry Prize. Her short story, "The Gods of Flight," was shortlisted for the 2013 Bridport Prize. She is a 9th-generation Kentuckian.
Read an interview with Kate on "How A Poem Happens: Contemporary
Poets Discuss the Making of Poems."
Read a feature on Kate and "Follow Me Down," with
excerpts of interviews with Molly Peacock and others
Read Kate's bio and featured poems on the Poetry Foundation's website.
Read Kate's essay on the literary inspiration of Southern landscape in 2nd
Follow Kate on Twitter.
Follow Kate's blog An
for Kate Buckley's second collection of poems, Follow
"Vivid, passionate, pulsing with life in the face of loss
and pain, these incantations bravely seek to void The Void.
They are poems to conjure with."
— Charles Harper Webb
century painter Cennini spoke of the art of 'unseen things hidden
in the shadow of natural ones.' Like 'a sea turning in on itself'
Kate Buckley's poems speak to this, moving together, folding
and unfolding the echoes of a voice in place, a voice out of
place, 'salt licking salt—/coming
home.' Follow Me Down maps out the geography of longing
where sometimes 'you walk the yellow fields,' sometimes 'the
moon sets itself on fire,' lighting up the distances between
the past and the future. Buckley's parenthetical considerations,
her ache and intellect coincide in a sensuous, revelatory motioning
toward that inspired sanctuary of who we are."
Elena Karina Byrne
"She is making her mark on the landscape of contemporary
"This is a book where simplicity meets a siren named Kate Buckley and is all the better for it."
Praise for Kate Buckley's 1st book of poems & paintings,
A Wild Region:
Wild Region is a family history in verse as well as a lovely
elegy for Buckley's grandmother set in a Kentucky that is both
pastoral and industrial: 'I have ridden on horseback / under
the harvest moon, gold and heavy' vs. 'the coughs that stained
your linens black / no matter how many times you bleached them...'
The elegies are especially moving: 'her wispy hair, fine as
floss / cotton against the pale earth of her skull' and 'I cradle
her, cradle her, and rock her home.' Pick up this book. (Buckley
won this year's Hearst Poetry Prize.)"
— North American Review
"Kate Buckley's poems are dark prayers
and lyrical ballads, infused with mystery and awe... And the
stories these poems tell—finely
crafted as the poems are—are
stories that speak to all of us, accessible and clear for all
their complicated depth, 'universal' precisely because they're
so deeply personal, and so deeply felt. There is so much stunning
language in this collection, so much accuracy and grace, and
there are so many images that take my breath away... Kate Buckley
shows us how the beautiful and the brutal can not only coexist
alongside one another, but exist within one another. Hers is
a necessary and welcome new voice."
and poetry are two art forms that stand side by side and work
well together. A Wild Region is a collection of oil
paintings and poetry from prolific poet Kate Buckley, whose
work has appeared in countless venues. Many of her poems are
opposite full color art, adding a fresh dimension to her work.
A Wild Region is a fine blend of artforms, highly recommended.
"On Hearing Your News": My eyes lie flat in my skull,/darkened,
bruised//lashes whip-stitched to swollen lids—/sleep
has once again been elusive.//My organs weigh more/than they
did the day before,/swollen with unhappiness,/gorged with regret:/tiny
fists in my stomach pummeling/ the hanging ball of my heart."
ribbon of Appalachia winds through Kate Buckley’s vigorous voice
in her debut collection of poems, A Wild Region. It
was my pleasure to choose her as the winner of the 2008 James
Hearst Poetry Prize for the North American Review, and
it is an equal pleasure to welcome this book of poems, crafted
from the patterns of speech of the wild region Buckley loves
and the wildness of its people, too."
the poems recall the work of poet Andrew Hudgins, both for their
subject matter and use of forms. Perhaps these rhythms are a
kind of heritage of the song and music of the culture that feature
heavily in their poetry. Like Hudgins, Buckley can convey the
physical and emotional violence of characters without apology,
presenting people as they were and laying bare their choices
without too much explanation... W.H. Auden once said 'a poem
is like a story . . . with all the boring parts left out.' Buckley
certainly has many stories to tell... And she is a gifted storyteller...
Perhaps, this is Buckley’s intent in many of her poems—to
take the chaotic and random pieces and make them fit, make them
record a life, like a handmade quilt. Buckley’s poems are as
beautiful and well-crafted."
— The Adirondack Review
"This is a book of poems full of clues—clues more satisfying even than answers, since they point us toward the wilder regions of the complex human heart. Like a heady night in the rural South, these poems are sonorous, delicious, and dark—at once comforting and mysterious, wicked and sweet."
— Robert Peake