Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist, and of the chapbook Begotten (URB Books 2016), coauthored with poet F. Douglas Brown. His second full-length collection, Night Angler (BOA Editions), appears in Spring 2019. Davis’s honors include the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Dogwood Prize in Poetry, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center. He has recent work published or forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, PBS NewsHour, and Ploughshares. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Davis serves as the poetry editor of Iron Horse Literary Review and teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Translation at the University of Arkansas.
Mentor. Workshops and classes in poetry.
Statement: I encourage writers to keep sight of what comes next. Yes, we will work on sharpening our craft through intensive practice with technique and through a study of prosody that is grounded in the synergetic relationship between reading and creativity. But the art of writing (like thinking) is an ongoing and lived engagement with how our voices and our hands shape and get shaped by the world. That engagement should evolve and thrive beyond the particulars of any single learning context. As such, I think of workshop as an interim where we cultivate habits of mind and sensitivities to craft that a writer can adapt according to their everyday grind and develop according to the complex joys and troubles of living.
I believe both art and artist fare better when we advance aesthetic choices together with questions about the philosophical implications behind our creative work. I also find that candor about my own failures and successes can help reframe the writing process on more accessible and therefore healthier terms. Through a combination of support, challenge, and surprise, writers should leave workshop with a renewed sense of reflection and feeling emboldened to ask the questions necessary for leavening their writing in the years to come.