David Anthony Sam

David Anthony Sam


Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 GFT Press Chapbook Contest

Finite to Fail by David Anthony Sam was inspired by a rereading of Emily Dickinson’s poems and Helen Vendler’s exegesis of them. Available from GFT Press $6.00 US.
Interview: About the Book and Writing

Award-wining poet Allan Peterson writes:

“Emily Dickinson’s influence and inspirations can be found everywhere in contemporary poetry. Her energetic rhythms and observations on life and reverence for that life, also echo in the chapbook, “Finite to Fail, poems after Dickinson” by Virginia poet David Anthony Sam, from GFT Press.
“Emily’s punctuational dashes, as in the title’s dedicatory poem, are used exclusively by Sam throughout these twenty reflective, almost devotional, lyrics. And whether replying to her well known “I’m nobody! Who are you?” or devising his own reflections under her spell, the poems demonstrate both homage and originality. In short, he “’splits the lark.’”
From the Editor Jack Daniel Miles:

“David Anthony Sam, winner of the 2016 GFT Press Chapbook Contest with his elegant and creative manuscript, Finite to Fail – Poems After Dickinson, has been putting pen to paper for nearly fifty years and is also the president of Germanna Community College. We are honored to have previously published some of David’s poetry both online and in print, and we are absolutely thrilled to be releasing this new chapbook—our first. David is what I would call a smart poet, or maybe even a poet’s poet—but not in a way that makes his work inaccessible. His poetic process is deliberate, profound, and, most importantly, passionate, honest, and effective. There is no doubt in my mind that his new chapbook will be one that many of you will cherish as a part of your collection and read and reread with great pleasure.”

Finite to Fail - Poems After Dickinson

3 thoughts on “David Anthony Sam

  1. David,

    Your work always surprises me with its simplicity and depth. Beautiful piece. Love the economy of words which cut to the bone, so precise, so adept. The photographs are stunning.

    Appreciate your work very much, David.

  2. “Subtractions” and “Relelation’s Montage” my favorites.

    The many dashes throughout these pages remind me of the punch cards used to program the Jacquard Loom – the fabric created in these poems far more exquisite!


    1. Thank you for the kind words. I attempted under the influence of Dickinson to use dashes to interrupt the syntax and introduce ambiguity if not paradox. I am please the poems worked for you

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