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A. Poulin, Jr. New Poets of America #36: Revising the Stormby Geffrey Davis
Synopses & Reviews
This debut collection by Cave Canem fellow Geffrey Davis burrows under the surface of gender, addiction, recovery, clumsy love, bitterness, and faith. The tones explored—tender, comic, wry, tragic—interrogate male subjectivity and privilege, as they examine their "embarrassed desires" for familial connection, sexual love, compassion, and repair. Revising the Storm also speaks to the sons and daughters affected by the drug/crack epidemic of the '80s and addresses issues of masculinity and its importance in family.
Some nights I hear my father's long romance
with drugs echoed in the skeletal choir
Geffrey Davis holds an MFA and a PhD from Penn State University. A Cave Canem fellow, Davis is the recipient of the 2013 Dogwood First Prize in Poetry, the 2012 Wabash Prize for Poetry, the 2012 Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and the 2013 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. He currently teaches at the University of Arkansas.
"'Enter ERROR of desire/ Enter FATHER,' writes Davis in his debut, an account of selfhood, origin, and meaning in the face of an absent father and broken relationships. Rendering reality here means that 'all your effort looks like the wrong/ and right thing,' and that 'ach shift in the winds of remembering renders me// immediate again.' Throughout its three sections, the engine powering the collection runs on retrospection and introspection, and a fierce questioner, challenging the accuracy of the observations, is always at the wheel. 'What would it mean to revise this memory? Perhaps we could return to some/ first faith, some uninterrupted union.' Acutely aware of myriad meanings to each assertion and of the many versions of each story, these poems are strongest where they push through poetic narrative about personal experience to create poetry where storytelling itself is subverted. In one poem, for example, Davis speaks to a child version of himself: 'How dearly I want to give you/ the gentlest version of my voice, say something// to suspend your belief in disasters.' Continuously challenging himself to 'ell it right this time,' Davis displays an elegant tenacity that begs to be unleashed on subjects beyond personal history." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Dorianne Laux calls this Poulin Prize-winning debut collection "one of the best first books I've read in a while... spell-binding."
About the Author
Geffrey Davis holds an MFA from Penn State University (2012), where hes completing a doctoral dissertation on American poetics. A Cave Canem Fellow, he is also the recipient of the 2013 Dogwood First Prize in Poetry, the 2012 Wabash Prize for Poetry, the 2012 Leonard Steinberg Memorial/Academy of American Poets Prize, and the 2012 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Davis has poems featured or forthcoming in a variety of journals, among them Crazyhorse, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, Haydens Ferry Review, Mississippi Review, Nimrod International Journal, and Sycamore Review. He considers the Puget Sound area "home" — though he's been raised by much more of the Pacific Northwest (Tacoma, WA), and now by central Pennsylvania as well.
Dorianne Lauxs most recent collections are The Book of Men and Facts about the Moon, both from W.W. Norton. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Oregon Book Award, and The Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, Laux is also the author of Awake (her first book of poetry), What We Carry, and Smoke from BOA Editions. Lauxs poetry has appeared in numerous American journals and anthologies, and she has received poetry fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches poetry in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty at Pacific Universitys Low Residency MFA Program.
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