David Stallings is a poet, hiker, Zen student and father from Bainbridge Island, Washington. He was born in the South, raised in Alaska and Colorado before settling in the Pacific Northwest.
He was once married, has one child, a daughter, who has taught him much of value–and a grandson. He completed a Ph.D. in social geography, which he taught in the Midwest and at the University of Washington, and has worked for many years to develop expanded markets for public transportation in the Puget Sound area.
He has also long written a poem almost every day, adopting William Stafford’s advice to “lower your standards” in order to do so. He has published poems in several national literary journals and two anthologies, and is occasionally fortunate enough to give a poetry reading. A portion of his writing involves an ongoing conversation with the 8th century Chinese hermit poet, Han-shan. A series of responses to one hundred of the old fellow’s surviving poems slowly nears completion.
Resurrection Bay by David Stallings
Cover painting: “Memory of Tlingit Burial Ground,” by Dori Busath
David Stallings’ Resurrection Bay is a deeply personal chapbook collection about a boy growing up with his mother and stepfather in the 1950s. By presenting resonant particulars of the era and landscapes through which the speaker moves, Stallings seamlessly transports readers through time and space, as in these lines from the poem “Leaving Nashville, 1952”: “I’m packed between suitcases and boxes / into the back seat of a Buick Dynaflow, the view // blocked, the air thick with Dick’s Camels / and my mother’s Herbert Tareytons.” The poems of Resurrection Bay are constructed of unadorned language spoken with unflinching honesty, thus creating a profoundly moving and memorable experience. —Lana Hechtman Ayers, author of A New Red
David Stallings’ tender coming of age poems from Alaska are evocative, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting. Stallings captures the chilly world of a difficult childhood and blesses it with a lifetime’s perspective and grace. Resurrection Bay is a remarkable suite of poems. —Tim McNulty, author of In Blue Mountain Dusk
Set into motion by a Buick Dynaflow with Tennessee and Alaska at the tips of memory’s axle, the rich American odyssey propelling this graceful collection vividly resurrects a painful coming of age. In search of his past, in search of his very name, Stallings forges unlikely beauty from stark remains—the rotting trailer, the spawned-out salmon. He discovers refuge, redemption, repose, and “a deep pulse of longing / and return,” for himself and for us, his fortunate readers. —John Willson, Pushcart Prize winner and author of The Son We Had