Friday, August 8, 2014

Germanna president's new book raising funds for GCC Educational Foundation

Is there a gene for compassion? Or is it learned--developed by a series of experiences as we grow up?

It seems likely that both nature and nurture come into play.

Germanna Community College President Davis Sam’s “Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves,” is honest and powerful book that provides a compelling window into the development of the heart and mind of a man who has devoted his life to helping those unlucky through no fault of their own.

"Die when I may," Abraham Lincoln wrote to a friend, "I want it said of me by those who know me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower when I thought a flower would grow."

"Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves"gathers semi-autobiographical poetry about a boyhood and adult life lived in conversation with nature. In this volume, Sam describes a life shaped by his youth in Pennsylvania and Michigan and his journey by thumb through the Pacific Northwest. The imprint of these experiences molds his ecological holism and sense of the holiness of the commonplace and of all life.

Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation.

Sam has a reading and signing set for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 at The Arts Center in Orange.

Sam was born and spent his childhood in McKeesport, Penn., a coal and steel suburb of Pittsburgh. His home at the end of 36th Street abutted a woods, and the games he played on that street and the time he spent in those woods all influenced his poetry as well as his sense of the holistic ecology of all things. His neighborhood was filled with immigrants and children of immigrants, and his grandparents themselves came from Poland and Syria.

In 1961, the family moved with his father's factory to Belleville, MI, a far suburb of Detroit. Small town life near a lake and the rural farm fields and woods within a short walk along the railroad tracks often appear in the imagery and biography of his verse.

A first-generation college student and graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University, Sam has taught creative writing, English literature, and composition at EMU, Marygrove College, Oakland Community College, and Pensacola State College. He was partner/manager of Gondolier Music & Electronics from 1972-1985 in Belleville before moving into higher education as an administrator.

He and his his wife Linda live in Culpeper, still within sight of the eastern mountain chain. They have two children, Michelle and Ryan, and three grandchildren.

He has offices at Germanna’s original campus in Locust Grove and at GCC’s Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsyvania.

The book is on sale via, at The Griffin Bookstore & Coffee Bar in Fredericksburg and at the Germanna Bookstore.

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