Thomas Davis has previously published a dozen books. He won the Edna Fiction Book Award for his novel, In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams. The Wisconsin Library Association named Meditation on Ceremonies of Beginnings, poems about tribal colleges and universities and the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium movement, an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry. He has also written one non-fiction book, Sustaining the Forest, the People, and the Spirit, and two epic poems, The Weirding Storm and An American Spirit. Davis has also been a long-time educator, working for American Indian tribes in Wisconsin, Northern Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New Mexico.
Mythos of the Door,
2023, Four Windows Press
The poems in Mythos are largely either narrative or lyric, presented through traditional forms, including sonnets, blank verse, sestina, and others. Works like “The Coming of Christmas to Washington Island” and “Cherry Orchard” have appeared in publications such as The Peninsula Pulse and Door County Living in the United States and Great Britain.
Mike Orlock, the current Door County Poet Laureate, described the book as “an ambitious, novel-like attempt to capture the history, the character, and the mythology of a singularly remarkable place: Door County, Wisconsin, that thumb of land which juts out into the waters of Lake Michigan.”
Prophecy of the Wolf
2023, All Things That Matter Press
Prophecy tells the story of Ogima, a young Neshnabek (Potawatomi) boy who lived on the Door Peninsula on on Washington Island during the mid 1600s. In the novel Ogima tells about his interactions with the waubeno Quapaw who was a powerful shaman that tried to protect the Neshnabek from the affects caused by the French fur trade and European economies into tribal life. Ralph Murre, a former Poet Laureate of Door County, said about the book: "If it's true, as I suspect, that most of us have only the most vague notions of the time when the French were exploring and exploiting the interior of North America, and perhaps have no realistic notion at all of the Native peoples with whom they would interact, then I think this brilliantly researched and imagined historical novel will bring us one giant step closer to clarity in our thinking of that time and place."
In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams
All Things That Matter Press, 2019
An Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award historical novel about the seven black families that escaped slavery in the bootheel of Missouri and made it through the underground railroad to West Harbor on Washington Island before the Civil War. In the novel a young slave, Joshua, on the day he receives a vicious whipping, escapes with his mother and six other families through the Mingus Swamp from the plantation where he lives and runs north, terrified that they will be found by slavers looking to bring them back to their masters. The novel recounts their perilous escape via the underground railroad to Chicago and then Washington Island and then what happens when they settle in the wilderness that still dominates the island's wondrous beauty. This is one of the all time best sellers in the Door County area.