Rolling Reading Series to Feature Poet and Penn State Professor Todd Davis

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Award-winning poet Todd Davis, known for his lyric meditations on the natural beauty of his Pennsylvania home ground, will offer a reading as part of the Mary E. Rolling Reading Series. The free public reading will be held in Foster Auditorium in Paterno Library on Thursday, November 14, at 7:30 pm.

Davis is the author of seven collections of poetry: Ripe (2002), Some Heaven (2007), The Least of These (2010), Household of Water, Moon, & Snow: The Thoreau Poems (2010), In the Kingdom of the Ditch (2013), Winterkill (2016), and most recently, Native Species (2019).  Publishers Weekly praised Davis’ ability to “bring readers into a world rife with danger and darkness as well as quietude and splendor” and “reverently observe nature’s own poetry and how it illuminates the process of change.” Native Species, published by the Michigan State University Press, explores the questions of humanity’s uncertain place in nature and what happens to the souls of all creatures after death. Harvard Review proclaimed it “unflinchingly candid and enduringly compassionate.”

Todd Davis’ poetry has been featured in diverse outlets, from the newspaper column American Life in Poetry edited by Ted Kooser, to anthologies such as The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, to many noted journals and magazines such as American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, and North American Review. Davis’ work has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize and has won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, Chautauqua Editor’s Prize, and the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Silver and Bronze Awards. Davis has also edited several collections of essays, including Fast Break to Line Break: Poets on the Art of Basketball (2012).

Davis is a professor of English and environmental studies at Penn State University’s Altoona College. He is also a fellow in the Black Earth Institute, a think tank that promotes the arts as a means to link the environment, spirituality, and community in an inclusive way.

The Mary E. Rolling Series is a program offered by Penn State’s Creative Writing Program in English, which receives generous support from the College of the Liberal Arts; the Department of English; the Joseph L. Grucci Poetry Endowment; the Mary E. Rolling Lectureship in Creative Writing; and University Libraries.  A full list of readings in the 2019-20 series can be found at


Meet Our BA/MA Students This Year!

Check out the profiles of our first and second year BA/MA students on the “Student Bios” page!

The BA/MA program is an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree in English with a creative writing concentration in Poetry and in Prose (fiction and creative nonfiction). This is a full-residency program that can be completed in two years—the student’s senior year and the additional M.A. year. Under the supervision of a creative writing faculty member, students complete a substantial creative project and also receive teaching assistantships that provide teaching experience. Applications are due March 15th, 2020. For more information, check out the BA/MA program page on the English Department’s website.

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