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Recent graduate celebrates multiple publications

UMW News Bureau

As she plans for a new journey after graduating from the University of Montana Western, Rebecca Davis is also celebrating the recent publications of two poems in an online journal.

Davis’ poems “Palms” and “Hayfire” were accepted for publishing in the online journal ScissorTale Review’s winter 2011 issue. The journal, which exclusively accepts student-based work, is sponsored by the The University of Central Oklahoma’s English Department and is published each academic semester.

“I totally didn't expect it,” Davis happily remembered. “It feels great when a journal or magazine appreciates your work enough to publish it.”

For Davis the journey towards becoming a published writer began in North Carolina as a young girl.

“I've been writing since I was really young and I had a dream that one day I'd walk into a book store and see one of my books on the shelf,” Davis reminisced. “I eventually realized I would never know how true this could be unless I got a better education and put myself out there. Now I'm closer than ever.”

Davis’ family moved to Plains, Mont. from Fort Bragg, N.C. Although she missed the view of the ocean and fresh seafood, she gained an appreciation for Montana’s wide open landscape. That appreciation led her to stay in Montana rather than head elsewhere for her college years. As a result she discovered Montana Western and the unique Experience One (X1) program in which students take one class at a time, three hours per day, over a period of 18 days.

“I chose Montana Western for a few reasons, some personal, but mostly because of the standard class size, the X1 system, and cost of tuition,” Davis explained. “Being a student at Montana Western has given me possibilities I might not have gained had I attended another university. It has given me a unique college experience and a quality education.”

Davis said the only setback to the X1 system is that she often does not want her creative writing classes to end because she becomes so immersed in them. The X1 system has also been influential in the development of her writing.

“My writing practice is composed of a few different elements,” Davis reflected. “One comes from the act of practice itself. I try to write every day. The block system helps in this case, because in writing classes, like most block classes, you are challenged to write on a day-to-day basis. This has always helped in the development of my writing. Another key element to my practice is exposure. I read as much as I can for both enjoyment and influence. You can learn a lot from the work of others.”

Despite its small size Montana Western has aided in Davis’ exposure to other authors by means of classroom texts and the professors themselves.

“I've really enjoyed working with the professors I've studied under,” Davis added. “Montana Western, in some respects, is a melting pot of diversity, especially when it comes to students and professors. Having exposure to diversity is healthy for all students.”

The acceptance of “Palms” and “Hayfire” further encouraged Davis’ deep-seated love of writing.

“I constantly submit and encourage others to submit despite the feeling we often have that our work isn’t going to be accepted by someone else,” Davis explained. “We must remember that our words matter and to keep trying no matter what.”

Davis plans to move to Eugene, Ore. after graduation to pursue a master’s in poetry and creative writing at the University of Oregon

While the view of the North Pacific Ocean may be a little different from the memories of her childhood adventures alongside the Atlantic Ocean, Davis remains excited about her recent publications and her ongoing journey as a developing writer.

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