Category Archives: Published Books

In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams to be Published by All Things That Matter Press

by Thomas Davis

I have just signed a publishing contract with All Things That Matter Press for my new novel, In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams. I was first introduced to ATTMP by the books of Diane Denton. The author of three novels (Without the Veil Between is a book that I have recommended on this blog), I have followed Denton’s career before she became an ATTMP author. I have also read some of Mary Clark’s books, the latest being Miami Morning, who is published by ATTMP. Located in Maine, HTTMP has a substantial, and important, list of both authors and books that they publish.

In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams is a novel about a black fisher community that located on Washington Island off Door County before the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. At the time it was the largest black community in Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee. The novel traces the community from the time of its meetings with Preacher Tom Bennett in the boot of Missouri in the Mingo Swamp through their flight from slavery northward through Chicago to West Harbor on Washington Island.

I first stumbled across the Washington Island community of black fishermen when I was doing research for my non-fiction book, Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit (State University of New York Press), a number of years ago. When I moved to Sturgeon Bay I read Island Tales, an anthology by Kay Curtis, and found a mention of the community again. I was intrigued and started researching in order to write what I thought of as a sonnet sequence at the time. Then, on a trip to Washington Island, the owner of Faire Isle Books, Deb Wayman, told me she would really be interested in a book on the black community since no such book existed. What was first intended to be creative non-fiction later turned into a novel.

The following is the sonnet that introduces the novel:

Inflamed Imagining

A Spenserian Sonnet

Inside the swamp beside a cypress tree
(White herons in the water, bullfrog croaks
A symphony as dusk, as stealthily
As cat’s feet stalking small, shy birds, evokes
The coming night) the Preacher slowly stokes
The fire blazed in his heart and starts to sing
Songs powerful enough to loosen yokes
White masters forged through endless menacing.

The words he used burned deep; he felt their sting
And saw his spirit fire alive in eyes
Awake to dreams, inflamed imagining
Of days spent free beneath glad years of skies.

The darkness deepened underneath the tree.
He’d preach, he thought, then, later on, they’d flee.

I should also send out a word of thanks to Ralph Murre, the former Door County Poet Laureate, who gave me the title of the novel during a poetry workshop at the WriteOn, the writer’s retreat and organization in Door County. It is a paraphrase of a line from a poem by Pablo Neruda.

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Standing Feather, Betty Hayes Albright at Otherworlds Books in Sturgeon Bay

The owner of Otherworlds Books in Sturgeon Bay is featuring two Four Windows Press books at her bookstore, The Glowing Pink and Skipping Stones.  I hope some of the readers of this blog will consider buying a copy.  They are both really good books!

OtherworldStandingBetty.jpg

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Skipping Stones by Betty Hayes Albright

Four Windows Press has released Skipping Stones, a book of poetry by Betty Hayes Albright.

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Last month Four Windows Press published an outstanding book of poetry by Standing Feather, a New Mexico poet. This month we are coming out with a volume of poetry by Betty Hayes Albright entitled, Skipping Stones.

Betty Hayes Albright has one of the most popular poetry sites on the web at https://raindancepoetry.wordpress.com/author/raindancer73. Called “Seasonings”, the site presents week after week the deeply romantic, often clever, and sometimes fantastical poetry of Albright. Four Windows Press is glad to now count Albright’s earth-mother poetry among its offerings.

A Sturgeon Bay poet, Mike Orloch, told me at a recent poetry reading that he was reluctant to publish a book, even though he is an excellent poet with strong credentials, because more people write poetry than read it. This may be true, but we’re hoping that Betty’s wonderful book sells some copies. There has got to be a market for what Candice Daquin, another excellent poet, calls “her gorgeous kaleidoscopic collection of poems”. Lauren Scott, another well-known poet, said of Skipping Stones that it “is mythical and dreamlike, moving and heart-wrenching, delightful and thought-provoking.”

Four Windows Press is certainly happy that the book will be available on amazon.com early next week. You can also order a book with a check or money order to Four Windows Press, attn. Tom Davis, 231 N. Hudson, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. The book is priced at 13.95. There is a $4.00 handling and shipping fee for those who want to order directly from the press.

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OtherWorld’s Bookstore Display

A new bookstore has opened on Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay! We used to have two bookstores, but they have closed. Now Margaret Magle has opened a new bookstore on Third Avenue downtown. She is, right now, featuring books by Ethel Mortenson and Thomas Davis. We are hoping both tourists and local folks visit the store at 41 N. Third Avenue since we are hoping Margaret succeeds in her new endeavor.

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A Glowing Pink Released!

Four Windows Press announces the release of a new book, The Glowing Pink by Standing Feather. Standing Feather is a New Mexico poet who lives near the El Morro National Monument and the Ancient Way Cafe. He operates a gallery, Galleria Carnaval, and paints as well as writes magnificent poetry.

Copies can be ordered at amazon.com or from Standing Feather’s gallery.

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Praise for The Glowing Pink

In The Glowing Pink, Standing Feather reminds us of the almost unspeakable intimacy shared by all beings. I view the poems of this collection as passageways to the sacred, to the sheer beauty and wonder of life. Reality is luminous. There are songs and blessings for “creatures that may spend their entire lives inside a flower.” What nourishes us, what makes us whole, is empathy, and an awareness of our union with the universe. Line by line, page by page, these poems are a deep bow to all of life: the vast, the miniscule, the unseen.

James Janko, winner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Pride for the Novel, author of The Clubhouse Thief and Buffalo Boy and Geronimo

If poetry has a searing edge that is part flame and part cool, silver moonlight, mixed with the fragrance of deep emotion, it has reached beyond everydayness into a realm as wild, beautiful, and perhaps dangerous, as those regions of space where stars are born. There must be music too, even if it is subtle music, and an unusual insight into human experience and what substances are melded together to make a human spirit. It must also look outward to others, whether they are people or living parts of the earth, and create an ecosystem of connections that reflect out of the poet into the reader so that the reader can discover something vital and true about themselves. In The Glowing Pink Standing Feather achieves all of this as poem after poem images with words that either are carved from the bedrock of stone quarried from generations of poets or sparked like flashes of quicksilver dancing and twisting into a bewilderment of light and dark. If we need a reason to read poetry, then this book gives us that reason. Thomas Davis, author of The Weirding Storm and three novels.

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Reading from The Weirding Storm

Thomas Davis will be reading from The Weirding Storm at the Aardvark Wine Lounge at 304 S. Pine St. in Green Bay for the Untitled Town Book and Author Festival (https://2018.untitledtown.org/about-the-festival) this Saturday at 5:00 p.m. I am hoping, hoping some of my regional friends will be there!

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On Sunday at 2:00 p.m. I’ll be doing a workshop on Beyond the Game of Thrones Worldbuilding in SF and Fantasy with Kat Abbott at the
Green Bay Community Theatre 122 N Chestnut Ave, Green Bay, WI 54303. Do you want to become a master of SF and fantasy writing?

On Saturday I’ll be selling books at the Book Fair: The 2018 UntitledTown Book Fair will take place from 11 am- 5 pm on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22, at the Broadway Center (Old Fort Square).

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Untitled Town Book and Author Festival

Untitled Town Book and Author Festival in Green Bay has just announced that Thomas Davis will be doing two presentations:

My Speakers Sessions, Thomas Davis

Saturday, April 21

5:00pm

Sunday, April 22

2:00pm

Kat Abbot, the person I will be doing the second presentation with, worked in the entertainment industry for 5+ years on everything from Emmy-winning TV shows to feature films to independent short films. While she’s done every crew position behind the camera, her favorites are key set costumer and assistant director. She currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin where she makes spreadsheets by day and crafts stories by night. In her free time she writes scripts and MG/YA novels, bakes more cookies than she can possibly eat, and ponders what she should dress as to the next comic con. She’s also an active member of SCBWI-WI.
For more information about a major literary festival, go to https://2018.untitledtown.org.  I hope to see a lot of you there!

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