John Paul Davis


I've been writing poetry for most of my life. My most recent book is Climbing A Burning Rope, published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2024. My first book, Crown Prince Of Rabbits, was published in December 2016. Check out the Books page for more about it. Or, peruse below to read poems I've had published in online literary magazines.

Climbing A Burning Rope

cover of Climbing A Burning Rope

In Climbing a Burning Rope, John Paul Davis focuses his peculiar imagination, philosophical lyricism, and misfit spiritual outlook on life in the hypercapitalist twenty-first century where the inscrutable logic of algorithms haunts our constantly connected selves. Celebrating the weird and wild, lamenting wounds and weariness, Davis’s poems carve out a space in which we can reclaim what is sacred and be reminded to keep something of ourselves for ourselves.

Published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2024.

Crown Prince Of Rabbits

cover of Crown Prince Of Rabbits

In Crown Prince Of Rabbits, John Paul Davis’s first full-length collection of poetry, Davis writes compellingly about the aftermath of “this American heartbreak” and the heart’s journey toward healing and wholeness. Set against the backdrop of his own history, current events, pop culture and an intimate landscape cluttered with electronic devices, Davis turns his keen eye on his own shortcomings, “every lame joke, missed connection, fumbled kiss, too-late comeback”, while raising his voice in celebration of the many blessings inside suffering and loneliness.

Davis maps a trail through both divorce’s deeply personal grief and the invasive and atomizing politics in an incresingly-divided America. Taking refuge in music and private tiny moments of the spirit, Davis approaches his subject with curiosity, wonder and openness in the face of sorrow and alienation, celebrating risk and the chance for love to heal love’s own wounds. “Rise up, dead man, / there is heartbreak & there’s music. So dance.”

Published by Great Weather For Media, Crown Prince Of Rabbits was published in 2017. (Check out the book’s page on Great Weather For Media’s site or check out the microsite for the book.)


  1. "Zipper" published in The Flordia Review
  2. "Dream Theives" published in The Mantle
  3. "The Zone" published in The Mantle
  4. "Upgrade Blues" published in Lenticular
  5. "Mid–Life" published in Lenticular
  6. "The Insurance Companies Require Each Office to Meet Certain Performance Targets" published in Lenticular
  7. "Joe Talbot's Singing Voice" published in FreezeRay
  8. "Season Finale" published in FreezeRay
  9. "Dark Mode" published in Quaranzine Club
  10. "Quarantine Days" published in Quaranzine Club (scroll down)
  11. "Ode To The Sink Full Of Dirty Dishes At 6AM" published in Quaranzine Club (scroll down)
  12. "Smaller & Smaller" published in Quaranzine Club (scroll down)
  13. "Quarantine Voices" published in Quaranzine Club (scroll down)
  14. "Poem To Be Recited While Washing My Hands" published in Quaranzine Club (scroll down)
  15. "Headphones" published in Another Chicago Magazine
  16. "Elexxxion" published in Rattle
  17. "Selfie" published in Salamander
  18. "Stain" published in COG
  19. "Emergency" published in COG
  20. "Smartphone" published in COG
  21. "Merger" published in No, Dear
  22. "Idle" published in No, Dear
  23. "Robot" published in Blue Earth Review
  24. "Gender" published in Matador Review
  25. "Animals" published in Matador Review
  26. "Trying" published in Calamus Journal
  27. "Self" published in Apricity
  28. "Sound" published in Apricity
  29. "Fuel" published in 45th Parallel
  30. "Body" published in Drunk In A Midnight Choir
  31. "American Funeral" published in Word Riot
  32. "Advice To A Young Writer" published in FreezeRay Poetry
  33. "Emperor Of Drones" published in Radius
  34. "Love Song With Drones & Wiretaps" published in Radius
  35. "John Woolman's 21st Century Blues" published in Radius
  36. "Bicycling Home At Dusk I Closed My Eyes & Let Go & Saw The Rabbits" published in Four Way Review
  37. "The Blank Yorke" published in Jet Fuel Review
  38. "A Geology" published in Wherewithal
  39. "Winter Compline" published in Denver Syntax
  40. "Ode To The Bite Mark You Left On My Right Shoulder" published in The Legendary
  41. "Outside Of Poetry" published in The Legendary
  42. "10-9" published in Drunk In A Midnight Choir
  43. "The Legislature Unanimously Voted My Beard State Beard" published in Drunk In A Midnight Choir
  44. "Year Of The Game Face" published in Drunk In A Midnight Choir
  45. "Toasts To David Byrne" published in The Museum Of Americana
  46. "Beard" published in The Journal
  47. "Passwords" published in deComp
  48. "Self-Portrait As A Husband" published in Bat City Review
  49. "Lazy Eye" published in Sentinel Quarterly
  50. "Exit, Pursued By A Bear" published in Sentinel Quarterly
  51. "My Father's Record Player" published in Beech Street Review