I won my first poetry contest when I was nine, I won a state wide one act play competition in high school and produced the play in college. I was a local San Francisco journalist, and wrote art criticism for five years when punk was just getting started at the Mabuhay Gardens in the late 1970’s. I read my poetry to rooms full of drunks, and edited an art news magazine in the early to mid-1980’s. I became a lawyer in the late 1980’s and my last poetry reading was in 1994 until I started again in 2018, in Specs of all places.
It’s time. Welcome to my writing life.
Allison A. Davis writes poetry (Three Rooms Press Annual Dada Magazine, Maintenant 12 (2018), 13 (2019) and 14 (2020)), short stories (including anthologies Dark Yonder (Nov 2019) and Shattering Glass (June 2020)) and is contracted with Bronzeville Books LLC to publish her novel, But Not For Me.
A background in journalism and art criticism, her day job is a senior partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, a national law firm.
But Not For Me
Novel coming 2022
1958 San Francisco: Beatniks, Eisenhower, Fillmore District jazz and Major League baseball. As Mayor George Christopher fights an influx of organized crime and redevelopment begins to transform the city, racial and political tensions rise when a Black real estate magnate is murdered.
But Not For Me is more than a crime story with a murder to solve. Told through the experiences of two women, the story explores the dark side of gentrification in one of America’s most colorful cities.
Kay Schiffner is a practicing lawyer by day, during a time when women were rarely hired as lawyers, and at night, secretly follows her passion for playing jazz at the Blue Moon in San Francisco’s Fillmore District, a neighborhood where good white women weren’t supposed to go.
Leitisha Boone is the Fillmore District’s only Black female club owner, having started her career in her father’s barbecue joint. She’s not about to give up her successful and elegant Blue Moon when threatened by redevelopment and betrayed by men who don’t believe women should run a business, even when threats turn deadly.
When Leitisha is arrested for murder, Kay’s search for the truth leads her from city politics to the mafia, Beatnik poets to union graft. As pressure mounts from her boss, the police force and organized crime, Kay must make an impossible choice—to save her hard-won job as a lawyer or to risk her own life and livelihood to try and save the friend and her club that gave her music.
Learn more about the inspiration of the book at the Harlem of the West website.
Twenty of the country’s top crime writers walk into a bar… Yonder: Southern Cocktails & Brew, specifically. They each leave a tale spun in a way that only they can. Over twenty endearing stories of degenerates, criminals and regulars just itching for something to happen.
“The Door in the Floor” (Daiquiris and deception)
Shattering Glass is the first in a series of remarkable anthologies published by Nasty Woman Press, a unique non-profit publisher founded to help fund other organizations threatened by the rise of autocracy and the ongoing war against civil and human rights in the United States. A scintillating mixture of top-flight fiction from bestselling authors in multiple genres, fascinating articles, and thought-provoking essays, conversations and interviews, Shattering Glass takes as its theme the empowerment of women, with all profits from the book donated to Planned Parenthood.
“The Lesson” (Not about homelessness)
“Allison Davis’ ‘The Lesson’ delivers everything you want in a taut, contemporary crime story. Davis has obviously done her research, presenting sparkling clear, believable characters whose rich, complicated backgrounds influence their every word and action. Her story packs both a dramatic and sociological punch—with brushstrokes of nuanced, psychological moments that speak directly to the truth of our times. I’m confident Davis will soon emerge as one of the crime novelists everyone needs to read.”
—Bestselling Author Stephen Jay Schwartz
Maintenant 12, 13 & 14: Contemporary Dada Art & Writing
The art movement known as “Dada” began in response to the horrors of World War I as an artistic rejection of logic, reason, and aesthetics of capitalist society. The movement has continued since 1915 in various disguises—Beat, Pop, Punk—and it continues today, as evidenced in Three Rooms Press’ ongoing Maintenant contemporary dada journal series.
12: “We Are All A Like” focused on social media culture.
Allison’s poem: “Jack Micheline Would Have Wept”
13: “Artificial Igorance” lamenting both the political scene and the prevalence of artificial intelligence.
Allison’s poem: “Artifical Ignoramus Mundi”
14: “Un-Sustain-A-Bull-Sh*” about consumer culture and climate change.
Allison’s poem: “Extinction”
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Photos 1 & 2: Lewis Watts, photography professor emeritus UC Santa Cruz and co-author of Harlem of the West;
Photo 3: William Werner, photographer and James Beard nominated pastry chef