A native South Carolinian, he attended the University of South Carolina, where he studied under James Dickey, and the University of Virginia, where he completed his graduate studies with a doctoral dissertation on Thomas Hardy.
While not a prolific poet, David has published for many years in important journals. In 1975 he broke into print with a poem in The New Yorker. His poems have appeared in Agni, The Hopkins Review, Literary Imagination, Poetry, Raritan, Sewanee Review, Southwest Review, and Yale Review, and online at Poetry Daily.
Find them also in Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry and in the Louisiana volume and the new (in 2022) Virginia volume of The Southern Poetry Anthology.
He has published articles on James Dickey, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, Flannery O'Connor, and Elizabeth Spencer in The Hopkins Review, Literary Matters, Mississippi Quarterly, Sewanee Review, Southern Literary Journal, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.
Weathering: Poems and Recollections brings together late poems (and a clutch of early poems) with three essays that chart David's coming of age through encounters with James Dickey, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, and other poets. The book's epigraph, from a poem by Dickey, expresses its overarching theme: "with age / Feeling more in two world than one [. . .] in all worlds the growing encounters."
Of his work and himself as a poet David has written: "Like lots of poets, Elizabeth Bishop, for instance, and Bernard Spencer, a special favorite of mine, I draw inspiration from travel. But travel itself isn't really the theme. What interests me is the way that older stories, like those in myths, can seem present in things that happen now. . . . My poems tend to be both literary and personal, though not confessional. They track my development from adolescence to later years, and they're about connections to people and places, especially Greece but including my native South, and my engagement with cultural artifacts."
David lives with his wife, the poet and novelist Ashley Mace Havird, author of Wild Juice (poems) and Lightningstruck (novel), in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he taught for thirty years at Centenary College of Louisiana.
The painting, Eurydice's Trousseau, in the photograph of the poet is by Jessica Gayle. It was inspired by the author's poem of the same title, which was first published in Shenandoah, vol. 52, 2002, pp. 116-117.