(Emerging) Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize Awarded to SHU Alumni

Cover of Davis’ poetry book. Photo from his website, https://noahdaviswriter.wordpress.com.

Seton Hill class of ‘17 undergraduate, freelance writer, Noah Davis, who also graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts for Creative Writing from Indiana University in ‘20, recently published his first poetry collection Of this River with Michigan State University Press. 

Natural, mystical and physical are the descriptors Davis gives the work. “I’ve never done that before, that was very fun.” 

The 2019 (Emerging) Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize was awarded to Davis for his debut poetry collection Of this River. The work is a collection of how landscape influences people, and is described as stunning and visceral. He felt it was incredible to win the prize, saying he’s very thankful for it. 

“I believe my poems are good, but I also want to acknowledge that I got really lucky that it just happened. I didn’t even get through a whole year of submitting the work and it was picked up,” Davis said. 

His father is also published with Michigan State University Press, Davis said his father was tickled they get to share a press in this way. The prize submissions were anonymous, blind submissions, “it was very, very special for me to have my first book be with my dad’s press because he has helped so much with my writing. He has really just shaped me into the poet I am,” Davis said. He was very proud and also very surprised that it was that quick. 

Immersed in a world of Harry Potter magic, and old family stories from his grandparents growing up, Davis said they were very foundational. Surrounded by books and stories, Davis knew they would be a major part of his life. 

“Growing up with dad as a poet, I’m like ‘oh that’s something that you can do professionally,’ and I’ve really just always wanted to tell good stories.” Davis said. “I wanted to share the stories that I could.” 

Writing for various hunting and fishing magazines in Montana, Davis said he’s got a lot that he’s continuing to write. A book that’s under contract, another manuscript of poems, fiction, and more, Davis said he’s lucky to be writing. 

He said the best thing about writing is discovery. He suggested writing to what your questions are, as long as you’re reaching towards something, as a good tip when writing. Mystery is so much more exciting than blatant obvious observation. So, become interested, fascinated, and in awe of something and then write it. 

“I don’t want to say success means nothing, but different thresholds that we give ourselves, if you really love something, reaching a level of success or a threshold only holds so much.”

His last words were that he hopes that people read the poems, but if they do read them, that the words will inspire them to go out and see their own mystery in whatever part of the world they live in. More of Noah Davis’s work can be found at his website: https://noahdaviswriter.wordpress.com

Published by: Mikaela Fitzpatrick