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Setting the Waves on Fire

Poems by Arlice W. Davenport

ISBN: 978-1-7342477-7-0

Retail: $15.00

Release Date: October 14, 2020

Now available to order in the Meadowlark Bookstore. 

Arlice W. Davenport, a lifelong Wichitan, is the retired Travel editor and Books Page editor for The Wichita Eagle. With his wife, Laura, he continues to explore the myriad, inspiring wonders of travel.

Praise for Setting the Waves on Fire:

This is poetry of intellectual breadth built on a foundation of honest emotional depth. I encourage you to take up this book and read, to follow Davenport’s best advice: “Your heart is bruised, bleeding / drops of unrequited love. / The viscera of your body / tighten like a noose. You could slide // your head into it, if you choose, / . . . Love flees / like a deer bounding in a forest. / You are too broken to give chase . . . /. . . Let poems be your new heart. // It will not bleed.”

— Roy J. Beckemeyer, Kansas Authors Club Poet of the Year and author of Mouth Brimming Over, his most recent book of poems.


Like Rilke, whose words open each section of this book of daily devotions, Davenport, too, is a seeker after awe and wonderment, something greater than oneself; realizing, like Burke, that the void, darkness, solitude and silence are necessary terrors along the road. In the end, after “waiting for Wordsworth’s / daffodils to bloom,” we are left contemplating that same poet’s lament, “The world is too much with us.” . . . This is a brilliant debut, fulfilling the promise of its title over and over. For the sake of your soul, do not miss this one.

— Robert L. Dean, Jr., author of The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing.


Arlice W. Davenport, world traveler and pilgrim, took me from New Mexico to New Zealand, Barcelona to Riomaggiore—each poem an homage to poetry, admonishing me to let the sea be my heartbeat. Setting the Waves on Fire is both a love letter to Rilke and a manual for the end of all things. And there’s comfort in these lines, a reassurance that we will all travel to the other side of dreams, that we can catch a glimpse through the art and poetry of the masters. Davenport invites readers to journey with him, to feel the sand between our toes before we launch from the precipice, to meditate on what it means to live, and what it means to die.

— April Pameticky, author of Waterbound; managing editor, River City Poetry; facilitator of The Wichita Broadside Project. 

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