David is originally from Maryland, but has now lived most of his life in Ithaca, in upstate New York. By day he’s a professor of Russian, teaching courses on literature, language, and history, and traveling to Russia every chance he gets. He also writes poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, much of it influenced by over 20 years of international travel. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Chestnut Review, and putting together the magazine is one of his chief joys. He and his wife have three grown(ish) children, and if it’s morning and there’s a pool nearby, he’ll be in it.
Favorite writing memory: I was entranced by Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books when I was in school, and starting in middle school I made it a habit to write letters to all the authors I admired to request their autograph. Most did write back, but Le Guin was the first, and so I always treasure her response, as well as the feeling of opening the envelope at that moment.
Favorite book in high school: Charles Portis’s True Grit. It was one of those books that was on a shelf in our house, but no one seemed to remember where it had come from. I was the type of kid who read anything I came across, so it was only a matter of time before I dug into it. For me, a great book is one you reread, and I’ve reread it probably almost every year, marveling at the humor and the narrative voice that Portis constructs.