Jon Davis

Poems, Stories, Essays, Screenplays



Jon Davis

Jon Davis is the author of five chapbooks and six full-length poetry collections—Dangerous Amusements, Scrimmage of Appetite, Preliminary Report, Heteronymy: An Anthology, Improbable Creatures, and, most recently, An Amiable Reception for the Acrobat (Grid Books, 2019).  His seventh book of poems, Above the Bejeweled City, is forthcoming from Grid Books in 2021. Davis also co-translated Iraqi poet Naseer Hassan’s Dayplaces (Tebot Bach, 2017). He has received a Lannan Literary Award, the Peter I.B. Lavan Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Off the Grid Poetry Prize, and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. He taught for 23 years at the Institute of American Indian Arts before founding, in 2013, the IAIA low residency MFA in Creative Writing, which he directed until his retirement in 2018.



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Poetry doesn’t explain the world; it rescues the world from explanation.

--Chuck Calabreze

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An Amiable Reception for the Acrobat

September 23, 2019

In Acrobat, Jon Davis, poet of jazz, blues, and misery, of daughters and horses, of regret, asks the questions we’ve been avoiding. What if we were wrong about art’s humanitarian potential? What if all this time we should have been feeling instead of naming? What do we do with the dawning realization that the apocalypse, by comparison, turns out to be the easier choice? This is the work of a great, and largely unsung American poet at his most relentless, at his most and least wise; it is a map to hold in our hands as we fly off the end of the world. 

                                -Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek, Finding                                          Hope In The High Country


Upcoming Events

  • chatter (in) SITE
    Sat, Jun 13
    SITE Santa Fe
    Jun 13, 2020, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
    Chatter weaves together traditional and contemporary chamber music in programs that include a reading by a poet of the morning. The "poet of the morning" will be me.