English Literature Major Receives Prize for Nature-Inspired Poetry Collection

When basketball standout Noah Davis introduces himself as a poet, people often say, “You don’t look like a poet.” 

Davis, a 6-foot-6 forward on the Seton Hill men’s team, says everyone in his immediate family played basketball. “My father, Todd, is a poet. I grew up in a house where poets play basketball.” 

Davis balanced basketball practice with academics as he earned a degree in English literature

“Basketball was a wonderful and tough experience. It taught me if I wanted to write, I had to make time to write,” he says. His nature-inspired collection, “Of This River,” won the prestigious 2019 (Emerging) Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize. “My honors capstone project at Seton Hill under Dr. Christine Cusick’s mentorship was the backbone of what this collection became,” he says. 

"I grew up in a house where poets play basketball."

Davis grew up along the Allegheny Front in central Pennsylvania with 42,000 acres of public game lands across from his house. “I spent all my life in those woods, along those hollows and in those streams,” he says. “Nature informs my art and the way I view the world.” 

He plans to move to Montana, while his fiancée, Nikea Ulrich, gets her Ph.D. in microbiology, then pursue his doctorate: “My goal is to be a college professor.”

Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Fall/Winter 2019 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon).