Quicklinks
Independent Press Award

About the book.
Award! — 2024 Independent Press Award Distinguished Favorite in the Cross Genre category.
Excerpt from the book Chapter one.
A teaser — cover, general introduction, introduction to the California poems, and the first leg’s poem.
Reviews — read (great) reviews of the book.
“I cannot express how much I enjoyed the poems . . .” (Kathy Stickles for Reader Views, 9/7/23)

Ordering the book

Order directly from me: You can order Continental Heartd directly from me at sddavison[at]icloud[dot]com. and pay via PayPal, Venmo, or by check. Remember to include your mailing address and the number of copies you want.

Order onlineContinental Heart is now available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org, though for some reason, Bookshop.org lists the price as $59.99. The advantage of Bookshop.org is that they give a percentage of the sale to a local bookstore, in my case, Farley’s Bookshop in New Hope, Pennsylvlania.

Price: $49.99.

Thank you!

So many people made Continental Heart possible. I offer my deepest thanks here.

About the book

George Lawrence
George at a campsite

Imagine: An artist (George Lawrence) walks across North America with a group of environmental activists (the Global Walk for a Livable World), taking photos, raising ecological consciousness, learning the land first-hand. For each week of the nine-month walk, his friend, a poet (myself–Steven Dale Davison), researches each upcoming leg of the walk—its geology and geography, its creatures and features, its social and natural history, its First Nation inhabitants—and sends a poem crafted from the research to the week’s mail drop city.

That’s the premise and the promise of this book. The artist/photographer is George Lawrence; the poet is Steven Dale Davison. Subtitled Befriending, and Defending, the Spirit of North America. This book is a bioregional meditation on the landscapes of North America expressed in images crafted through the poet’s pen and the focused lens. It is an extended love poem for the land we inhabit and an invitation to a vibrant culture of place. And it is a celebration of friendship.

Multi-dimensional. Continental Heart is not just a book of poetry. Forty-one poems beat at its heart. But it also includes photographs, maps, essays, and excerpts from George and Steven’s letters to each other. With its various elements, The Road to Continental Heart describes a four-dimensional journey: eastward across the country, up its mountains and down its valleys, inward toward deeper feelings for our country’s majesty and the meaning of friendship, and onward toward a renewed relationship with our homeland. Your journey awaits.

Continental Heart was published by Boyle and Dalton in 2022 as a high-quality, hardcover, coffee table-style book. Because of the images, the book has a larger format than is usual for a book of poetry and is printed on high quality paper. Continental Heart is a delight to the eyes that read it and to the hands that hold it, as only a fine book can be. And it maps the road to the spiritual heart of our continent.

How it was written

When George decided to join the Global Walk for a Livable World and walk across the country, I wanted to join him, but I couldn’t. So I wrote him poems.

Once a week, he would come to a city where he could get his mail. Waiting for him every week for nine months was one of my poems. Well, not every week. I did miss a couple of my deadlines.

The poem would be about the next leg of his walk based on research into the landscapes he would walk through, their creatures and features, their social and natural history, their First Nation inhabitants.

The vision

The Road to Continental Heart invites the reader to walk that road and enter with the heart into a relationship with the continent we live on. It appeals to the heart, the mind, and the soul of the reader. The poems are personal; they’re about friendship and the intimate knowledge of the land you can only get by walking through it. They are cosmic, about comet strikes and petrified forests and the long ages of geological change. They are lyrical, love poems to the land we live on. They are political—how do we defend the land we love? They are as concrete as heat and sore feet. They are as transcendental as the sense of presence that binds a people to its land base. The book’s subtitle is Befriending, and Defending, the Spirit of North America.

An excerpt

Want a taste? Click this link to read the first chapter.

Reviews

  • Book Review Directory
  • “Full of heart and soul”—Book Review Directory staff
  • Reader Views—Two 5-Start Reviews:
  • “I would love to see this book come to life as a documentary”—Tammy Ruggles, 9/2/23
  • “First, get this book and read it and glory in the poems and photos. Second, display it on your coffee table for others to see.”—Kathy Stickles, 9/7/23
  • Readers’ FavoriteThree 5 Star Reviews:
  • “A fantastic literary and visual expedition.” “The presentation as a coffee-table-style book is also a work of art”—K.C. Finn, 9/11/23. (Review not yet live on their website.)
  • “. . . striking and gorgeous . . . it will hold pride of place on many coffee tables.”—Asher Syed, 9/12/23 (Review not yet live on their website.)
  • “It is impossible not to be moved.”—Jamie Michele, 9/22/23.