Talley English

Author of
  • Horse
    Knopf (2017)

Talley English received her BA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing from Goucher College. She is a recipient of the Lizette Woodworth Reese poetry award from Goucher College’s Kratz Center for Creative Writing. She holds an MFA from Hollins University, where she received the Academy of American Poets’ Gertrude Claytor Poetry Prize. Talley’s mother first put Talley on a pony, named Snowball, when she was two years old, and she continued riding horses for the next twenty-three years, until she began writing more often than riding. She feels that she learned about herself through riding, much in the way that storytelling requires a translation of human emotion into writing. Talley lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her family and a dog.

Books by Talley


Horse is the story of Teagan, a teenage girl who loses her father twice, first when her parents, Robert and Susanna, divorce. The horse is named Obsidian, called Ian, and he first belongs to Robert, but when Robert leaves, the horse becomes Teagan’s. It is through her connection with Ian that Teagan remains tenuously connected to her father. Teagan loses her father again when Robert dies suddenly, and Ian also dies suddenly. Horse is the story of a girl left adrift in love for her family at the moment she is also leaving her childhood.

Teagan’s narrative is told in two contrasting perspectives. In the traditional third-person perspective, we know the teenage Teagan, her friends, her family, and, by her lack of ability to protect herself form her experiences, we know who Teagan is affected by her world. The third-person narrative is interspersed with the adult Teagan’s first-person renderings of her past experiences. The older Teagan muses, dreams, remembers, and fails to piece together her past. Written in beautiful, lyrical prose, the story of Horse is a story of grief and loss, and love nonetheless.

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