From those who have worked one-on-one with MCD.
Matthew enters stories with boundless curiosity, challenging the writer to find the deepest nuance of character and most taut story arc. He possesses the ability to hone in on places of unexplored tension and possibility--sometimes just a single line--but developing that one aspect can bring a vast depth or complexity to the story telling. Really it is the passion that he arouses within the writer about his or her own work that is remarkable. No matter how stuck I am, always after working with Matthew, I reenter the world of my story with a renewed sense of vigor and possibility.
— Mary Michael Wagner, fiction writer, teacher, O. Henry Award and Pushcart Prize Winner
Matthew Davison is a rare talent. He is a gifted and versatile writer of many mediums; he is smart enough to be truly humorous, real enough to cut to your heart, and deep enough to make you hungry. In the critical process, Matthew offers wise and compassionate feedback. And for me, he has the depth of insight, craft in his bones, and a gift of communicating that not only empowers the work, but inspires the music. Best of all, in the sometimes dangerous “mix” of the creative and the critical, he makes me laugh.
— Janice Mirikitani, Author of LOVE WORKS (City Lights Books), 2000 San Francisco Poet Laureate, Executive Director of The Glide Foundation.
Matthew Davison is a reader, teacher, editor, and writer of uncommon gifts. He has the insight to read a work-in-progress on its own terms, and the skills to engage the writer in a fertile process of discovery and development. You won’t find smarter, warmer, more stimulating guidance anywhere.
— Michelle Carter, Winner of the 2000 PEN West Playwriting Award for Hillary and Soon-Yi Shop for Ties, Professor of Creative Writing.
Matthew Davison is a wonderful writer and a wise and sympathetic teacher.
— Maxine Chernoff, author AMONG THE NAMES (Apogee Press), and SOME OF HER FRIENDS THAT YEAR, New and Selected Stories (Coffee House Press), Professor of Creative Writing.
Matthew Davison reads and offers criticism with the whole of his considerable intelligence, sensitivity, and good will.
— Robert Glück, author of DENNY SMITH & OTHER STORIES (Clear Cut Press), Professor of Creative Writing.
The poet Wendell Berry wrote that a teacher’s “great function, or opportunity or obligation, is tomanage somehow to address himself openly and generously and invitingly to the unknown--the possible that presents itself to him in the minds and lives of his students.” Like Berry, Matthew Davison, an accomplished writer and teacher of writing, is concerned with possibility. He believes in potentials, potentials in the writers he works with, potentials in the work itself. A writer needs to possess a sense of optimism about his or her work. That's one of the prerequisites for moving forward with any written draft. A teacher of writing must possess a sense of optimism about student work. Matthew Davison's ability to see beneath the surface of a new piece of writing to what lies submerged within a draft is extremely valuable to the beginning writer or the accomplished writer who desires critical useful feedback. His astute eye for what works in fiction catches what others cannot see or are not willing to imagine. His care, patience, and sensitivity to the creative process contribute to his understanding of what type of critical feedback is most useful to the writers he works with. He has the ability, as an editor and teacher, to help a writer push work forward, to move beyond the initial creative spark to a fully accomplished piece of writing. I believe those who work with him are lucky to have him.
— Toni Mirosevish, Professor of Creative Writing, author of The Takeaway Bin.
Matthew can spot the intrinsic emotional heart buried within an early draft and help you bring it forth, even if you’re not sure what you want to convey. Working with Matthew, I’ve seen enormous growth in my own work. He has a wonderful eye for the craft of fiction.
—Katie Hern, author of Reunion: A Year in Letters Between a Birthmother and the Daughter She Couldn’t Keep (Seal Press).
Matthew Davison’s insight—combined with his sensitive, articulate feedback—has aided my development as a writer for the past six years. Working with him, I’m constantly inspired by the elements he discovers in my writing. Matthew is a hard, sincere critic, and the best of his students come away from feedback sessions more motivated than ever.
— Ann Marie Aubin, Fiction Writer.
My four years writing with Matthew Davison have been an absolute gift. I’ve learned much from his respect and humor. His keen vision will help a student discover gems even in early drafts. His suggestions offer clarity and direction without shutting down imagination. He is capable of both celebrating a writer’s natural gifts and developing necessary skills. Above all else, he is willing to traverse unfamiliar territory and support his students in translating that whispering voice at the heart of a story.
— Alissa Blackman, Fiction Writer.
In his feedback on stories, Matthew combines considerable rigor of analysis with kindness and an absolutely fabulous sense of humor, which makes working with him a pleasure.
— Sarah Rosenthal, Award-Winning writer and Writing Instructor.
Matthew Davison has a discerning and precise eye for pinpointing the strengths of a manuscript, and a gift for conveying his critical insight in a truly constructive manner."
—Y.J. Schonfeld, fiction writer, translator, winner of Playboy Fiction Award.
Matthew Clark Davison is an invaluable writing teacher who gives honest feedback while supporting your development and progress. He cares a lot about writing and hasn't hesitated to share his own experiences when I've needed to hear about the common struggle to produce good writing. And, throughout, he has not lost focus on what I need as I write, rewrite, and learn.
—Sam Osherson, Nonfiction and Fiction Writer.