The latest installment in the Sarabande Series in Kentucky Literature, Mare’s Nest explores a Kentucky horse farm in its turbulent beginnings.
From Kentucky native and Brooklyn-based poet Holly Mitchell, Mare’s Nest troubles the meaning of a racehorse, in particular the broodmare and the foals she carries. Reaching from the photographic experiment of Muybridge’s “The Horse in Motion” to Patti Smith’s album Horses, Mitchell touches upon history, dreams, Southern family stories, and queer adolescence in the early aughts.
Colloquially referring to a muddled situation or an illusory discovery, the term “mare’s nest” can also refer quite literally to the soft depression left by a horse lying in grass. And so the idea of a “mare’s nest,” in all of its linguistic potential, serves as the central focus for Holly Mitchell’s meditative debut.