(August 1, 2013)

Centenary professor authors book of poetry

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. David Havird, Professor of English, recently published his first full-length book of poetry, Map Home. This release comes just three years after publication of his first collection, Penelope's Design, winner of the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize.

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Map Home by David Havird

Published by the Texas Review Press of Sam Houston State University, the collection of 37 poems was chosen as one of about 20 books selectively published this year by the group. Many of the poems that illustrate Havird's personal growth and relationships have been previously published in periodicals, such as Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Southwest Review, and Yale Review.

Map Home includes several poems from Havird's personal explorations of England, Greece, Northern California, as well as his native home of the South. Havird attributes this motif to favorite poets Bernard Spencer and Karen Swenson who also drew inspiration from travel.

"But travel itself isn't really the theme," said Havird. "What interests me is the way that older stories, like those in myths, can seem present in things that happen now. Often, my poems dramatize the discovery of some mythical element in what's happening now. Greece, where I've been taking Centenary students for five years now (along with Dr. Lisa Nicoletti), is a good place to make such discoveries, since the ancient past is always intruding."

Havird grew up in Columbia, SC, and studied at the University of South Carolina under James Dickey. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia and has been a member of the English faculty at Centenary College of Louisiana since 1988. In 1991 he originated the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, whose inaugural recipient was Eudora Welty. Dr. Havird is also an expert in poetry and poetry writing, Southern Literature, and 19th and 20th Century British Literature.