Hope Past the Page: A Conversation with Alum, Lecturer Matthew Clark Davison

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

THE RUMPUS -- Matthew Clark Davison’s debut novel, “Doubting Thomas,” published earlier this month by Amble Press, launches with Thomas McGurrin, an openly gay fourth-grade teacher at Portland’s Country Day school, accused of molesting a male student. Though untrue, the accusation throws Thomas off, just as he’s forced to reckon with his younger brother’s cancer diagnosis.

Matthew Clark Davison’s textbook version of The Lab, co-authored by bestselling writer Alice LaPlante, will be published by Norton in 2022. His prose has been published in Guernica, The Atlantic Monthly, Foglifter, Fourteen Hills, Per Contra, Educe, and others, and has been recognized with a Creative Work Grant, Cultural Equities Grant, and a Stonewall Alumni Award. Matthew earned a MFA in Creative Writing from SFSU, where he now teaches full-time.

“I’d been asking students in a graduate class I teach (about teaching Creative Writing) at SFSU to make mission statements and I wanted to give Thomas one,” Davison said. “I’d written my own fair share of them, but I’m not as organized as Thomas, so I can’t see how I’ve tightened or loosened my own values over time. It’s this tightening and loosening of ideals that reveals character — how he’s changed over time — that is relevant for fiction.”