In January of 2016, accomplished poet, Carol Davis, came to Surel’s Place from Los Angeles. While in residence, Davis wrote poems that explored the following themes: place and nature, family legacy & history and how they collide, Jewish superstition in belief and behavior, faith & doubt, and belief & observance. In addition, she revised manuscript for a new collection of poetry with the working title Fire Season, which weaves these themes together. Finally, she held two reading events, and hosted a workshop called “Who am I Anyway? Writing the Persona Poem.” The persona poem is written from the perspective of someone or something other than the writer him/herself. Writing the persona poem is a useful exercise for a writer, as the poet takes on the other character’s voice and can learn a great deal from this process.
Davis describes her background an how it has contributed to her career:
“I am interested in the role of the land in people’s lives. My grandparents were Central and Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Having escaped war and uncertainty in Europe, neither set of grandparents ever felt completely at home in America. Although my parents were both born in the U.S., they inherited this unease, as I did, to a certain extent.”
A long-time faculty member at Santa Monica City College, Davis teaches English and Creative Writing. In addition, she is the poetry editor for Jewish Journal, America’s most widely used Jewish news site. Her work has been published in myriad top-tier literary magazines and poetry anthologies, and her book Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg won the TS Eliot Prize on 2007. For specific information about her publications and awards, please view her CV here.