(Portrait by Eduardo King)
David Anthony Sam was born and spent his childhood in McKeesport PA, 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 also appear much 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.
With his wife and life partner, Linda, he lives now in Locust Grove VA, not far from the eastern mountain chain. They have two children, Michelle and Ryan, and three grandchildren. In June 2017, Sam retired as president of Germanna Community College.
Four of his collections are in print: Memories in Clay, Dreams of Wolves (2014), Dark Land, White Light (1974, 2014), Early in the Day (2015) and Finite to Fail: Poems After Dickinson (2017). His poems have appeared in over 80 journals and he was the featured writer in The Hurricane Review Spring 2016 issue which included 36 of his poems and his collection A;; Night over Bones received Honorable Mention in the Homebound Poetry Contest. Sam’s collection Finite to Fail: Poems After Dickinson was awarded grand prize in the 2016 GFT Press Chapbook Contest (2017).