photo by Sascha Vaughn

Nicelle Davis

is a poet, instructor, explorer of the absurd and necessary, a voice for process and discovery.

Davis’s methods are rooted in cross-media and performance. With each poem written she communicates not only through the by-product of words, but through their arrangement, shape, and the acute dismantling of expectation. Davis teaches us to be with a poem, to join intimately with those stories we tell so that we may reconstruct the myths we create into the lives that we live.

For Davis there is always limitation. However, through her use of multiple medias and new collaborators, Davis paves new paths for authors. Addressing how poets balance the double life of a poem, how to negotiate the effects that are lost or gained when transitioning from one medium to another, Nicelle Davis explores how poetry can have a life beyond the page.



Generate New Work:

This is a hands-on workshop. Writers will generate new works of visual and textual art. We will examine how the techniques used in collages can be applied to the craft of poetry.

Help Overcome Writer’s Block:

Poetry, like collage, requires multiple layers to suggest countless realities. By learning and executing the techniques used in other art forms, a treasury of poetry can be unearthed from a poet’s subconscious. By actively seeking to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain during the creation process, writer’s block can be obviated.

Hone the Poet’s Craft:

Through constructive criticism of the work made in class, every participant will leave the class with creative ways to generate new poems.






Nicelle Davis is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. Her most recent collection, In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press. The author of two other books of poetry, Becoming Judas, is available from Red Hen Press and her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Another book of poems, The Walled Wife, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in 2017. Her e-chapbook, Studies in Monogamy, can be read (and heard) at A Whale Sound. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, The New York Quarterly, PANK, SLAB Magazine, and others. She is editor-at-large of The Los Angeles Review. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, MHA, and with Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center. Recipient of the 2013 AROHO retreat 9 3/4 Fellowship, she is honored to work as a consultant for this important feminist organization. She currently teaches at Paraclete and with the Red Hen Press WITS program.


Click on photo box to see past Living Poetry Projects


Nicelle Davis is also the director of The Living Poetry Project. In attempts to have poetry everywhere and anywhere, The Living Poetry Project endeavors to build community by collaborating with students and artists with the hope of introducing people to art. That is, giving poems to construction workers; or surprising shoppers with hidden poems in the pockets of jeans on a store’s sale rack; burning a Rumi poem into small pieces of wood left scattered in a restaurant; or writing a poem on a T-shirt and give it away. The Living Poetry Project reimagines poetry’s influence within the everyday, waiting to enliven and deepen a momentary and isolated experience. Check out The Living Poetry Project on The Bees Knees blog.

Performance Art

Course Contents is a collage poem / interactive poetic experience made from images and texts taken from a two volume binder set of a 1960’s charm school teacher. Her 9 week class divided into 6 lessons: make-up, wardrobe, figure control, visual poise, personality, and voice. When she set about developing, opening, and graduating her first charm school class, she was diagnosed with cancer. She knew she was sick; she didn’t expect to die eight months after her diagnoses. Leaving behind a husband and seven year old son, she left this world with these binders her final note in the margins, “who am I.”

Anyone who participates will get to keep a chapbook. Anyone who attends will leave in sparkle and with their own certificate of training completion. Welcome to Poetry Charm School.   


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Those interested in booking Nicelle Davis for readings and/or day workshops, please contact her directly at nicellecdavis@gmail.com.