Professor of English Todd Davis received the Kjell Meling Award for Distinction in the Arts and Humanities April 28, 2016, during a ceremony in the Edith Davis Eve Memorial Chapel. He offered a lecture and a book signing as part of the event and was bestowed with an award sculpture designed by Professor of Visual Arts Rebecca Strzelec.
Davis is the author of five full-length collections of poetry: Winterkill; In the Kingdom of the Ditch; The Least of These; Some Heaven; and Ripe, as well as of a limited edition chapbook, Household of Water, Moon, and Snow: The Thoreau Poems. He edited the nonfiction collection, Fast Break to Line Break: Poets on the Art of Basketball, and co-edited the anthology Making Poems. His writing has been featured on the radio by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac and by Ted Kooser in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry. His poems have won the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, the Chautauqua Editors Prize, the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Bronze Award, and have been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been published in such noted journals and magazines as American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, North American Review, Missouri Review, Gettysburg Review, Orion, West Branch, and Poetry Daily. He is a fellow in the Black Earth Institute and teaches environmental studies, creative writing, and American literature at Penn State Altoona.
Penn State Altoona initiated the Meling Award in 2006 to honor the memory of its longtime associate dean for Academic Affairs, who passed away in 2005. The award is intended to memorialize Meling’s love of literature and language and his unwavering support as an administrator for the development of Penn State Altoona’s faculty as scholars and artists.