Davis, Maggie S. 1943(?)–
Davis, Maggie S. 1943(?)–
(M.E. Cooper, Barbara Steincrohn Davis, Emma Davis, Maggie Steincrohn)
PERSONAL: Born May 30, 1943 (some sources say 1942) in Hartford, CT; daughter of Peter Joseph (a physician and author) and Patti (a radio singer and pianist; maiden name, Chapin) Steincrohn; married Alan J. Davis, September 1, 1963 (divorced, 1976); married Arnold Greenberg (a poet and bakery owner), June 27, 1982; children: (first marriage) Joel, Jenny; stepchildren: David, Julie, Dan and Joe (twins). Education: Attended Connecticut College for Women (now Connecticut College), 1960–61; University of Miami, A.B., 1963; University of Florida, M.A., 1965; graduate study at University of Miami and Florida International University. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, gardening, hiking, singing, knitting, dancing. "Also, I guess I would call myself an environmental activist."
ADDRESSES: Home—East Blue Hill, ME. Office—Heartsong Books, P.O. Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and publisher. Reese Air Force base, Lubbock, TX, director of nursery, 1967; University of Miami Reading Clinic, Miami, FL, teacher for learning-disabled children, 1967–68; McGlannan Language Arts Center, Miami, teacher for learning-disabled children, 1967–73; Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, Miami, director of training workshops, 1969–73; Poets-in-the-Schools Program, Miami, staff, 1973; Citizens Dispute Settlement Center, Miami, counselor, public relations representative, 1977–79; freelance editor and rewrite specialist, 1981–86; Left Bank Bakery and Cafe, Blue Hill, ME, co-owner; Heartsong Books, Blue Hill, currently cofounder and publisher; publisher of Neighborcare. Has hosted radio talk show Tribute: A Program for an about Women, Long Island, NY, 1983. Has also worked as a waitress.
FOR YOUNG READERS
(Under pseudonym Barbara Steincrohn Davis) Scrubadubba Dragon, illustrated by Carroll Dolezal, Steck Vaughn (Austin, TX), 1971.
(Under pseudonym Barbara Steincrohn Davis) Forest Hotel: A Counting Story, illustrated by Benvenuti, Golden Press (New York, NY), 1972.
The Best Way to Ripton, illustrated by Stephen Gammell, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1982.
Grandma's Secret Letter, illustrated by John Wallner, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1982.
Rickety Witch, illustrated by Kay Chorao, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1984.
Forbidden Objects, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1986.
(Under pseudonym M.E. Cooper) Something New, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1987.
(Under pseudonym Emma Davis) A Dog for Jessie, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1988.
Eagles, Paperjacks (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 1988.
The Rinky-Dink Cafe, illustrated by John Sandford, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1988.
Something Magic, illustrated by Mary O'Keefe Young, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 1991.
A Garden of Whales, illustrated by Jennifer Barrett O'Connell, Camden House (Charlotte, VT), 1993.
Blooming!: Choices of a Growing Woman, Acropolis Books (Washington, DC), 1981, published as Choices of a Growing Woman, Heartsong Books (Blue Hill, ME), 1994.
Roots of Peace, Seeds of Hope: A Journey for Peacemakers, Heartsong Books (Blue Hill, ME), 1994.
Glory! to the Flowers, a Celebration, Heartsong Books (Blue Hill, ME), 1995.
Caring in Remembered Ways: The Fruit of Seeing Deeply, Heartsong Books (Blue Hill, ME), 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and publisher Maggie S. Davis is the author of numerous books for younger readers, as well as works for all age ranges. She makes her home in East Blue Hill, Maine, where she is a lay-herbalist, flower essence practitioner, and Reiki II practitioner. She is the founder and publisher of Heartsong Books, a small press created to "express a burgeoning kinship vision," as Davis stated on the Heartsongs Books Web site. "This vision, 'celebrating kinship with all life,' is integral to all books published by Heartsong," Davis commented. She relies on word-of-mouth advertising and the recommendations of others to gain new readers for her books, relying on "readers who find my books worthwhile to tell others about them." Deeply mindful of nature and her interaction with the natural world, Davis lives "in a solar-powered cabin-house in the woods," a dwelling that she built herself. "At last, after years of my feeling fragmented, my life is of-a-piece, each aspect born of the same communion and vision," she stated.
Before she founded Heartsong Books, Davis's works were published by a number of larger houses. Something Magic is a "lovely children's story" centering on a young girl's loving relationship with her grandmother, noted reviewer Anthony Link on the Books for Pagan Kids Web site. Throughout the story, the girl tries to identify what part of her most closely resembles her grandmother, and she eventually realizes that it is the beautiful inner light of life that most seems like her grandmother. The story touches on issues of aging, and the bittersweet processes of remembering those who have passed on. "Beautifully worded, colorfully drawn, this story can easily" bring a tear to the eye, Link remarked.
A Garden of Whales is a children's fantasy story about a youngster who dreams of the danger faced by the world's dwindling population of whales, and who sets out to aid them. The child uses the whales' own tears to create a garden where the whales can be reborn. Based on the Eskimo folk belief that humans and whales are one and the same, and told in "luscious prose," the book is "a bedtime read-aloud that will set heads nodding," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor.
Davis told CA: "As an only child, I read hungrily every day to propel myself out of loneliness and into fantasy worlds. I wrote stories, too, to fill the alone time. I filled diaries. Always, I eavesdropped on my mother and father's conversations. Words were my best company. (That should have been clue enough that I would be a writer.) But it wasn't until I had children of my own that what had been a flickering interest exploded into a full-blown passion, fed—as I look back now—by my many career paths (secretary, teacher, trainer, mediator, counselor, waitress, talk-show host, editor).
"Because of the hopscotch nature of my life till recently, I never had my own office to write in. My knees, I'm sure, have been permanently affected from my sitting cross-legged on my bed, typing—scores of pages and files teetering all around me. And, of course, there were the times I assumed the same position in front of shelves in libraries' children's rooms, or on the top bunk of my motor home (houseboat, too), or by the pond on the working farm we live on, or on a rock at low tide in a cove in Maine (my heart's home and the state I have promised myself I will stay put in forever). In fact, I'm still searching for the perfect permanent writing spot. In the meantime, bless my lap-top computer and tiny printer.
"For me, writing (especially children's books) is essential to my soul's survival. (If only I could draw the scenes I see in my mind!) Most of the time, I'd rather write than eat (except when tempted, during a bout of writer's block, by our bakery-cafe's appealing goodies).
"Although I've written and published poems and magazine articles and a book for women, I have—during the past few years—singlemindedly given my heart and time to writing for children. My friends tease me. They say that even at parties for adults, I'm more than likely to be found off in a corner with children and the family dog. I have found much wisdom in those corners, I believe, and certainly much fun. Talking with and writing for children nourishes the child in me. I never want to lose her. I plan to be working on books rooted in Native American history, tradition and spirituality, for it is the Indians' attitude toward our earth which, in these difficult times, can best help to preserve it."
Davis also commented in an article posted at the Heartsong Books Web site: "For over twenty years, I was published by others. Then, in 1993, I created Heartsong Books to express a burgeoning kinship vision. This all-embracing vision weaves throughout all Heartsong books. It permeates every aspect and level of my work from book creation to book production to book distribution."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Horn Book Magazine, February, 1983, Kate M. Flanagan, review of The Best Way to Ripton, p. 36.
Library Journal, October 15, 1981, Anne E. Bernard, review of Blooming!: Choices for a Growing Woman, p. 2034.
Publishers Weekly, April 16, 1982, lean F. Mercier, review of Grandma's Secret Letter, p. 71; September 24, 1982, review of The Best Way to Ripton, p. 72; August 17, 1984, review of Rickety Witch, p. 60; May 3, 1993, review of A Garden of Whales, p. 306.
School Library Journal, August, 1982, Christina Olson, review of Grandma's Secret Letter, p. 95; October, 1982, review of The Best Way to Ripton, p. 138; March, 1989, Judith Gloyer, review of The Rinky-Dink Cafe, p. 158; August, 1991, Nancy A. Gifford, review of Something Magic, p. 144.
Books for Pagan Kids Web site, http://paganinstitute.org/c-kids_bibliography.html/ (April 14, 2006), Anthony Link, review of Something Magic.
Heartsong Books Web site, http://heartsongbooks.com (April 14, 2006), biography of Maggie S. Davis.