Other literary forms
H. L. Davis first gained public and critical notice as a poet. His earliest poems were published in Poetry magazine and were much admired by such writers as Carl Sandburg and James Stevens. Most of Davis’s work in fiction before 1947 was in the short-story form. At first he collaborated with Stevens, but in the late 1920’s he began publishing on his own, establishing a reputation as a writer of Westerns. Both his poetry and his short fiction focus on western American themes. Davis’s poetry is sensitive to the experiences of the people who lived on the western frontier; among his short stories are a number that retain considerable literary merit. These are notable for the universality of their themes and sensitivity to human character.