Today we’d like to introduce you to Austin Davis.
Austin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid, I used to write little stories, staple them together, and hand them out to my family. I made the covers out of construction paper and I remember putting together dozens of handmade chapbooks when I was young. I began writing poetry a little later, around 6th grade. I loved the way writing a poem made me feel. It was and always will be a form of therapy for me. Writing is something I need to do. I need to express myself. I kept writing throughout junior high and high school and during my sophomore year, I submitted one of my first poems to Sleet Magazine and a few more poems to my high school’s literary journal. These poems were all accepted for publication and I began to submit more and more. High school was really when I realized that this is what I wanted to do with my life. This is how I want to help change the world. I transferred from Red Mountain High School to ASU Preparatory Academy on the Polytechnic Campus during my junior year. At ASU Prep, I met Daniel Pike, my English teacher. Mr. Pike became my writing mentor and taught me and ins and outs of writing, publishing and submitting. He even let me teach the poetry unit of his creative writing class during my senior year. At the end of my junior year, Fowlpox Press published a small collection of my poetry titled, “The Moon and Her Ocean.” Towards the end of my senior year, Moran Press published my first full-length collection of poetry, “Cloudy Days, Still Nights” and during my first year at ASU, Moran Press published my first book of political poetry, “Second Civil War.”
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve been unbelievably lucky. I’ve had so much support from my family, friends, and teachers in my life, and they’ve had such an incredible impact on me. Thank you all for everything. As for any challenges I had to work through since I began to take my writing seriously as I was growing up and becoming an adult, I had to learn how to balance everything in my life, including my writing career. Being a student and a writer was something I had to adjust to and work at because each involves a lot of commitment. My biggest goal is to be the best person, friend, brother, boyfriend, son, student, and writer I can be. I had to think about what’s most important to me and strive to be the person and poet I want to be every day, and I think that’s something everyone should think about sometimes because nothing is more important in life than the people you love and your passions. Rejection in the poetry world is also something that really deterred me at the beginning of my career. I had to realize that getting my poems rejected is just a part of submitting work to publications. As a young artist, I had to learn to not take criticism so personally and to focus on learning and growing instead. I also had to learn to get out of my comfort zone. In the beginning, performing was really scary for me, but once I gave it a shot and practiced a lot, I grew to really love it! Step out of your comfort zone for a while, it’ll be waiting for you when you get back from doing amazing things.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a poet. I write poetry on a number of topics ranging from love to growing up to mental health. I also write a lot of political poetry. My second book, “Second Civil War” is a collection of progressive political poetry aimed to get people my age to stand up for what they believe in and vote. I really just want to make a positive impact on my writing. My biggest goal as a writer is to help change the world with my poetry and to help people.
What are your plans for the future?
I am very excited about the future. I just recently finished writing a new book about the loss of innocence and masculinity that I’m currently looking to get published. I’m also trying to record a spoken word album this summer and I’d love to work with some jazz musicians on a jazz/poetry hybrid piece. I also want to grow more and more into my role as a political activist. I plan on writing a lot more political poems and using my passion to make more and more of a difference in the world.
- Cloudy Days, Still Nights ($14.99 from Amazon) (On sale for $12 from Moran Press)
- Second Civil War ($5.49 from Amazon) ($8.00 from Moran Press)
- Website: https://austindavispoetry.weebly.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/austinwdavis1/?hl=en
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Austin_Davis17
Aundria Arneson, Guy Davis