Poetry Reading with Poet & Essayist Carol V. Davis

Event date: 

Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 2:00pm

Event address: 

276 Village Square
Orinda, CA 94563-2504
Below Zero cover
Carol V. Davis

Join us for a reading by esteemed poet Carol V. Davis. whose poetry has been read on NPR, the U.S. Library of Congress, and Radio Russia.

In Below Zero, her fourth poetry collection, Carol V. Davis explores Siberia, an area in Russia largely unknown to Americans. Flying into Ulan-Ude, capital of Buryatia Republic, where she had never been, she mutters a prayer that her plane will be met. On a trip to Lake Baikal, she and her colleagues drive past trees strung with Tibetan prayer flags and stop to drop rubles in the lap of a Buddha. In Irkutsk, when her host dips a finger in a glass of beer and taps it on the tabletop, “For the house spirits,” she thinks of her own Passover, “finger dipping in the wine.” Intermingling faith practices, shamanistic rituals jostle with Russian Orthodox blessings. Amid a harsh life in winter “below zero,” the poet finds wonder and majesty in the vast landscape and the warmth of people who welcome her. These poems wander over borders, America to Russia, Los Angeles to Nebraska, from cities to tall grass prairie to forest. Faith and doubt, magic and superstition, place, cultures, and family history weave through this journey, inviting us to ask ourselves: Where do we belong and why?

Carol V. Davis is the author of three poetry collections including, most recently, Below Zero. Widely published, her work has appeared in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Jewish Poetry and Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium, among others. Formerly Poetry Editor of the Los Angeles newspaper, the Jewish Journal, in 2018 she guest edited a double issue of Shirim on the theme of Contemporary Jewish American Poets.

Davis won the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize for Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg and was the 2008 Sandburg-Auden-Stein Poet-in-Residence at Olivet College, MI. She currently teaches at Santa Monica College and Antioch University. She was a senior Fulbright scholar in Russia, 1996-97 and again in 2005. Davis taught in Siberia most recently in winter 2018. Her work has been translated to German and Russian.


Below Zero By Carol V. Davis Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781622889464
Published: Stephen F. Austin University Press - March 13th, 2023