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About this poet

Born in New York in 1970, Jordan Davis was recognized for his editing and criticism as early as high school, winning prizes from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Davis went on to attend Columbia College where he studied under Kenneth Koch and was an editor of the college's paper. He graduated with a B.A. in English in 1992, while continuing to work as Koch's assistant and editor.

Davis served as editor of the Poetry Project Newsletter from 1992 to 1994. Davis was also an editor for Teachers and Writers Collaborative for several years. In 1995, he became host and curator of the Poetry City reading series and in 1999, he founded the literary journal The Hat with his Teachers and Writers coworker Chris Edgar.

In 2003, Davis released his first collection of poetry, Million Poems Journal (Faux, 2003). Since then he has coedited several collections of poetry, including Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books (Subpress, 2004) and The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch (Knopf, 2005). Davis has reviewed poetry for both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and has written about poetry for Paper, Slate, and The Village Voice.

Davis currently writes about poetry for The Constant Critic and The Nation. He is married to the writer Alison Stine. He divides his time between New York and Ohio.

Amber Alert

Jordan Davis
Having a child changes you. For example,
A salmon's face extends forward, a giant underbite
Emerging, and then there's the matter
Hanging off their sides. I am proud to be
An American. Also, I'm proud to be a Protestant,
And wasn't whiteness a smart choice.

When people complain to me about Spielberg's manipulative
And frequent cutaways to children in danger—
People being me—I remind them that sarcasm
(Which does so well in the funnies) plays on television
As arrogance. The point is to put a big-ass
Unavoidable conflict, the kind metaphors with tools

Such as hammer, wrench, or fire in them are usually used
To illustrate how they turn us into material,
Materiel, to put this conflict in front of an audience
And present them with options. Suddenly I was able
To notice that what attracted me most was to know
When I actually needed to take care of someone.

Previously published in The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author.

Previously published in The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Davis. Used with permission of the author.

Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis

Born in 1970, Jordan Davis is the author of a poetry collection and many reviews and essays about poetry

by this poet

poem
When I am sitting at my desk and I have feelings
It is like I am the lone passenger in a little boat
On a sunny windy day.  When we are lying down
And we have good feelings it is a speedboat skipping
Like a stone among the islands I feel we’re in.
When we are sitting in bed at five a.m. talking the light
On I
poem

A wave of love for you just knocked me off my chair

I will love you and love you

I will reach out my hand to you in the noise of carhorns and merengue and pull you close by the waist

I will call you my museum of everything always

I will call you MDMA

I love you ecstatic exalted sublime

poem
With practice I could fold a rose
Or a theory of prose or some treason

But what is to be got--a satire?
Expedience? the opera of laughter?

I know conviction from the convict,
The senator from February.