Who Does the Math? Introducing VIDA Counter Megan Davis

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I counted from Baltimore, Maryland—my quirky home city, which, according to the bus stop benches here, is the Greatest City on Earth. (We are home to Old Bay, so I suppose there is some truth in that statement.) I hold a BA in English and art, and I’m about to graduate with my Masters in Professional Writing in May (Wahoo!). I like playing with poetry mostly, which, one could say, is akin to playing with matches. The risk in poems is the potential revolution of being, the discovery of some new part of yourself—an emotion, a memory, an idea—and letting it change you and your order, letting the match burn the old you down.


Why you to decide to become involved with the VIDA Count?

When I was an undergrad, I was very cognizant of the gender disparity in the literary landscape. I was quite disheartened (I still am!) by the lack of diversity within our English department, but I wasn’t sure, as a 99 % introvert (thanks, Myers Briggs), how to address the problem. In 2013, my professor and friend introduced our class to the VIDA Count. Seeing the count for the first time hit home—the realization that my future as a writer could very much be influenced if those numbers don’t change was a kick in the pants for me to speak up. I wanted “in” on creating such important discussions. The behind-the-scene type of work was my “in.”


Do you have a favorite book / poem / novel / short story?

I’m particularly fond of detective fiction, having grown up on Nancy Drew books. I think Denise Mina is quite wonderful (read her Alex Morrow series if you haven’t). Some other favorite reads are Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, The Complete Works of Dorothy Parker, Lydia Davis’ Varieties of Disturbance, and Annie Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk.


What literary journals would you suggest readers be on the lookout for?

I would say to keep an eye out for Feral Feminisms, a smart online journal engaging in feminist studies.


Megan DavisBaltimore native Megan Davis is currently a graduate student in the Professional Writing program at Towson University. She received her Bachelor Degree in English and art from Towson University in 2013. Her poetry has appeared in Towson’s award-winning magazine, Grub Street, for three consecutive years. Currently, Davis is ghost writing two books: Pei and Meg: Girl Detectives, a bilingual (Chinese-English) children’s book, and A Family of Steel, a memoir about working at Bethlehem Steel. Davis loves detective fiction, and, in her free time, she blogs about the representation of women in the genre.