David Cravens: Featured Poet


(on game theory)

there are hawks and there are doves
but I’ve always liked tortoises
because of their stoic determination
and that story about the race—
I see hares everyday
at the grocery store
at the gas station
frantically scratching lotto tickets
guzzling coffee and filling tanks
screeching, wheeling, gulls at a landfill
all hastening to the same grave—
so a tortoise I’ll be
trudging along in my armor
all soft tissue and organs on the inside
just trying to get through life
and avoid the next car


David R. Cravens comes from a southeast Missouri Ozark background. Born in St. Louis, and raised in Farmington, Missouri, he holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a master’s degree in English literature from Southeast Missouri State U. He has won both the Bedford Open Poetry Competition and the prestigious Saint Petersburg Review Prize in Poetry.

He says of his work, “I like to write poetry in relation to subjects I enjoy reading about in prose – mythology, philosophy, psychology, history, biography, and science. When possible, I try to augment my work with elements of Freud, Jung, and Campbell, so as to strike that subconscious chord that seems to ring universal. I think a good poet must have an unquenchable thirst for omnivorous reading, as well as an internal sense of pattern recognition. My poems are nearly always an amalgamation of parts of dreams, books, experiences, and conversations that at some point began to gravitate toward one another. That, or they began to adhere to a theme I already had in mind. And poetry shouldn’t be the catalyst of a popularity contest. It should be about the genuine nature of its subject matter. The writer who sacrifices honesty at the altar of political correctness will write nothing of any lasting value; and it’s not generally the things being done correctly that warrant consideration.”

David’s work has appeared in EarthSpeak Magazine, The Houston Literary Review, Albatross Poetry Journal, The Monarch Review, The Interpreter’s House, Willows Wept Review, The New Writer Magazine, Red River Review, and others. He teaches composition and literature at Mineral Area College.

1 thought on “David Cravens: Featured Poet”

  1. I like your poem very much David – I’m a tortoise like the speaker.

    And I like very much what you said about your work, and about reading, and how you splice together things to make your poems.


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