My teacher, my friend

by Ed Davis on December 4, 2017

My dear friend Nancy Pinard recently passed away. She was the best writing teacher I ever had. I still “hear” one of the best pieces of advice she wrote on a piece of my fiction many years ago:   “Shh.”

And she was exactly right. When my characters feel tension, too often I crank up what they are feeling viscerally to such a fever pitch that the writing can become over-wrought to the point of unintended comedy. I did it just the other day and heard Nancy’s gentle hiss in my ear. I listened and pruned the purple prose, thereby increasing … Read the full article


Of Libraries & Immigrants: Dayton Treasures

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by Ed Davis on September 27, 2017

New Library: Sacred Space

If you’ve already visited the newly rebuilt Dayton/Montgomery County Library, forgive me, but I’ve got to gush a little. As you can tell from the above photo, taken by writer/blogger Fred Marion, it’s a magical place. And, I believe, a sacred one, too, for, though vast, it contains numerous nooks and crannies where you can get off to yourself to read, write, even converse—since its caretakers do, indeed, desire engagement on the part of users.

The poetry workshop I led there last Tuesday evening was great fun! I applaud and appreciate the 25-30 hardy souls … Read the full article


Acanemia: A Memoir – In the Halls of Higher Learning

September 12, 2017
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Native Daytonian Lawrence Hussman’s new memoir contains fascinating revelations about Wright State University in particular and the state of higher education in general. It’s actually three books in one. Along with his critique of higher ed, Hussman includes his own academic coming of age story as well as a travelogue of his post-retirement teaching career in Poland and Portugal. These personal stories, omitted from the version of this review recently published in the Dayton Daily News, nicely humanize his indictment of academe. One of Wright State’s founders in 1967, Hussman has plenty to say about dreams gone awry, from the … Read the full article

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Poetry for Early Fall

August 22, 2017

Dayton Metro Library

I’m leading a Poetry Workshop at the newly rebuilt Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third Street, Dayton, OH on Tuesday, September 19, 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Community Room on the second floor.  (Take the elevator up to 2, take a left and the Community Room will be right there.) Below is the workshop description from the library’s website:

Ed Davis, author of five books of poetry, will offer a poetry refresher on the critical differences between poetry and prose. Following an exercise writing a brand-new poem, participants will have the opportunity to share their work Read the full article

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Telling on the Disease: Writers & Depression

July 24, 2017
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 In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself in a dark wood,
For I had lost the right path.
–Dante’s The Divine Comedy

Depression is a malady to which artists and writers, particularly poets, are quite prone. I’ve developed greater familiarity with it lately, having suffered several bad episodes this year. Today I feel qualified by experience to broach an issue I’ve mostly considered taboo. I now believe that it’s crucial to—as recovering folks say—tell on the disease in order to live beyond the “despair beyond despair.”

A Memoir of Madness

That last quote is … Read the full article

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Flowers Never Bend: The Meaning of a Friend

May 30, 2017
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“So I’ll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.”
—Paul Simon

Diagnosed with brain cancer, my childhood pal Steve found himself unable to pretend, as so many of us boomers do, that our lives will never end. His ended May 13, 2017, at 64 years of age, and I’m left to assess what the passing of my friend of 52 years means.


The funeral was a lovely-sad affair, our grief somewhat muted by the long farewell and the miracle of his finding love with a wonderful caretaker during his … Read the full article

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The Publishing Workshop I Never Gave

May 3, 2017

(*Plus Rita Coleman’s new poetry book!)

 I was never quite comfortable with the idea of presenting a workshop on how to publish fiction. So when the workshop that my friend Joe Downing and I were scheduled to present last February was canceled due to lack of enrollment, I was more glad than not. Since then, I’ve thought of several reasons why not to “teach” folks how to publish fiction.

  • Writing itself is so much more important, and time spent thinking about publishing can so distract from the pleasure of the real task.
  • The path to publication is so individual
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    Anthologized: With Eyes Glowing

    April 9, 2017
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    I just got my head knocked off by reading Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods, a new anthology of fiction and poetry from West Virginia. I am so pleased to have a story among this distinguished group of honored veterans and up-and-comers. I believe all writers with publication-ready work should consider submitting to anthologies. Among the many gifts of being included in a collection like the one above are:

  • The honor of having your work chosen by excellent editors, usually well-published authors and teachers themselves.
  • Distribution: In addition to Vandalia’s Press’s marketing efforts, Glowing includes
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    The Holy Trinity: Laughter, Love and Family

    March 9, 2017
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    I used to enjoy it when my well-traveled comp students would tackle a cultural comparison essay as one of their assignments. Therefore, I’m really excited when a writing colleague as accomplished as Deborah Clearman takes on a country as fascinating as Guatemala and topics as significant as baby brokering and sexual politics in all its tragicomic permutations.

    Clearman’s novel Todos Santos (Black Lawrence, 2010) introduced us to the titular rural Guatemalan town; her new story collection, Concepcion and the Baby Brokers (Rain Mountain Press, 2017) takes us even deeper into a culture the author understands, loves and has resided … Read the full article

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    Poetry IS Life

    January 10, 2017
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    A new year is a good time to be thinking about poetry. It’s on my mind, since 2016 ended with poetry—the annual Solstice Poetry Reading at Glen Helen (which attracted 92 hardy souls on a cold winter evening)—and 2017 began with it:  a reading at Blue Jacket Books last Saturday by poets with works in From the Tower:  Poetry in Honor of Conrad Balliet. Also, I’m deep into reading Bruce Springsteen’s new autobiography Born to Run, and everyone knows the Boss is as much poet as musician.

    So I’m asking myself here at the dawn of my 65th … Read the full article

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