Jon Davis of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) has been named the winner of the 2017 Off the Grid Prize, for his poetry collection Improbable Creatures. The book will be published in October of this year.
Davis has published six chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, including, most recently, Preliminary Report (Copper Canyon Press, 2010). Davis is director of IAIA’s Low Residency MFA program. He has previously received a Lannan Literary Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has also served as Santa Fe Poet Laureate.
He was a featured writer at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference in 2016 and will be again this year. Dayplaces, which he co-translated from Arabic with the author, Naseer Hassan, will be published by Tebot Bach Press in their New World Translation Series in April of this year.
Davis’ poem, “The Invention of Ecstasy,” appeared in Poems about Sculpture, published in Alfred A. Knopf’s Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series. Another of his poems, “Of Gwendolyn Brooks,” is forthcoming in the Golden Shovel Anthology from the University of Arkansas Press. His flash fiction, “Theoretically,” is forthcoming in Comic Relief: Flashing for Comic Relief from Salt Publishing in Great Britain. Davis also had five short stories in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine out of the University of Chester in Great Britain. His short stories are also included in A-Minor and Hinchas de Poesia. “Your New White Husband,” which appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, received over 1,000 Facebook shares.
The Off the Grid Prize was founded in the fall of 2011 to provide a forum for older poets. Winners receive $1,000 and publication of their manuscript by Off the Grid Press, an imprint of Grid Books. Previous winners include Keith Althaus, Patricia Corbus, Dicko King, Elaine Terranova, and Peter Nash.