Category Archives: Thomas Davis

Tribal Colleges and STEM

by Thomas Davis

I thought some of the readers of Four Windows Press might enjoy this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XyqwWR3_d4, which describes the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math work being done in tribal colleges across the United States.

This is obviously not about poetry, art, or photography, but I have worked in American Indian Education from 1972 up to the present time. I helped establish the National Science Foundation’s Tribal College and University’s Program (TCUP), working closely with Carrie Billy, then the Director of President Bill Clinton’s White Initiative of Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), that this video explores. My role was not that important really, but I am proud of the work I did throughout my career in the tribal college movement nevertheless. Carty Monette and Carol Davis, both featured in the video, are not only good friends, but played a major role in helping establish the TCUs nationwide.

What the TCUs are achieving throughout the United States is, at least in my opinion, some of the most important educational work being done in the world today. This video just gives a small glimpse of that work and might introduce to at least some of you the TCUs.

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Filed under Essays, Thomas Davis

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!

cover.jpg

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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Filed under Published Books, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

A Wizard’s Spell

by Thomas Davis

from a new play that I am writing:

Reality dips, swirls, a dance,
a pirouette, a song, a trance,
and as the mist of being drifts
a chord is struck, and what is shifts,
and fate becomes a puzzle box
secured by puzzles that are locks—

And so reality becomes
a whisper, shadow that benumbs
the heart and changes what will be
into a storm-tossed, dicey sea.

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Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

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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Filed under Published Books, The Dragon Epic, Thomas Davis

A Wrinkle In Time in Delta, Colorado

Photograph by Ethel Mortenson Davis
Essay by Thomas Davis

A Wrinkle in Time.jpg

When I was six years old and living in Delta, Colorado where I was born, Saturday matinees (mostly Westerns) were the highlight of those weeks when my Mom allowed me to join a few score squirming, and sometimes screaming, depending on the movie, kids at the Egyptian Theatre downtown.  Ethel took this photograph in Delta during our trip to Western Colorado, and we both had a good laugh.  What a movie, A Wrinkle in Time, to be showing as we drove through town!

Now on the national historical registry, the Egyptian is still standing proud on Main Street, a relic, with contemporary relevance since it is still showing first run movies, that not only is a time capsule to my early life and Delta and the nation’s earlier days, but also travels across the Atlantic Ocean to King Tut’s land, illustrating an all-Egyptian craze that lasted in the United States for only a short period of time.

We first parked in front of the theatre on the way to lunch with Delta friends, Linda and Terry Brown at Western Colorado’s best Mexican restaurant, Fiesta Vallarta.  Then, on the last day, as we drove to Grand Junction and the long trek over Loveland Pass toward Wisconsin and home, we stopped for a minute so that Ethel could take this photograph.

We could almost feel Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which transporting us through the universe by means of tesseract, the fifth-dimensional folding of the fabric of space and time in Madeleine L’Engle’s wonderful novel.  I could still feel myself squirming in my plush theatre seat as the lights blinked, signaling the start of the movie, while the rest of Delta moved around in 1950 white Chevrolets and went about shopping at my Dad’s corner grocery store or sipping ice cream sodas at the fountain just a few doors down from the store.  At the same time I could feel the history of my two grandmothers living in Delta, the best-friendship of my Dad’s sister Viola and my mother, and then the marriage between my mother and Dad as they prepared to live in a tent on the Gunnison River just below my Grandma Davis’s place.

All of the people I just mentioned are gone now, except for my mother in a Grand Junction nursing home at 92, leaving a hole in my life and so many memories:  Of my cousin and I having a pie eating contest that got us into trouble, the first time I slid into a base during a baseball game at Delta Elementary, my Grandma Bauer all excited when I hooked a big catfish and lost it on the banks of the Gunnison River not a quarter mile from town.

All of this as Ethel and I maneuvered around, trying to get the best angle for Ethel’s photograph, driving a Toyota Corolla with more computer power than existed in anybody’s imagination at the time the Egyptian Theatre was built.  There is a story of America in the old building, of a time when the nation was building its middle class out of the completion of World War II, and, of course, of today when the Middle East is in turmoil and our lives sometimes seem out of control in the whirl of progress and national and world events and miscalculations.  Still, there is the Egyptian on Delta’s Main Street, just where it has been for so many decades.

Ethel and I loved Western Colorado and our visit to spring.  It is still winter in Sturgeon Bay, although the sun is shining.  Perhaps the fifth-dimension is folding again, and we will see a totally different, and hopefully brighter, tomorrow that has not yet been.

 

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Filed under Essays, Ethel Mortenson Davis, Photography, Thomas Davis

Religion as a Whiteness

by Thomas Davis

They fought religion as a whiteness, probed
To find a way inside their lives to let
The genius centered by His love, light robed
With justice, free slaves from the numbing threat
Dredged from the God of thunder who had touched
The white race with superiority and rights
That forged the chains that bound free spirits clutched
With anguish felt through years of days and nights.

The abolitionists reached out and tried
To build invisible, faint trails the god
Of whiteness couldn’t find since he denied
The wrongs done in his name and lived a fraud
That failed to comprehend that souls of men
Could see his Christianity as sin.

Note: A sonnet from the novel, In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams I am submitting to University of Wisconsin Press.

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Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

Upon the Edge of Sanity and Fear

by Thomas Davis

The edge where sanity and fear collide
Whirls passions that are uncontrollable
Into events that spark events that tide
Across the barriers of shores and scull
Destruction, pestilence, a flood of woe
Fermented in assumptions drawn from trials
That litter through all human lives and flow
Like water over hopes, beliefs, denials,

And on the edge, in ferment’s shifting shape,
Decisions ratchet back and forth; dreams lure
The spirit as dire consequences scrape
Against the future suddenly obscure
Enough to paralyze the strength from hands
That long to civilize the hinterlands.

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Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis