Dr. Christine Salkin Davis
I am a writer, poet, artist, and emeritus (retired) professor from Concord, North Carolina. I am retired from the Communication Studies Dept. at UNC Charlotte. After 40+ years as an academic and business executive, I have turned my focus to creative endeavors. My writing, poetry, and art focus on death and dying, spirituality, and social justice and compassionate living.
My book of poems titled Life and Death and Holy in Every Breath is forthcoming, and I am currently writing a memoir about my time living in Ireland in 2021. I was based in Cork, Ireland, on a Fulbright Scholar award to teach and conduct research on the Magdalene Laundries and Irish women's identity. My book is about my research, my experiences, and my connection to my Irish ancestors.
My poetry appears in my books Death: The Beginning of a Relationship (Hampton Press, 2010), and End of Life Communication: Stories from the Dead Zone (co-authored with Jonathan Crane, Routledge, 2019). My poems have also been published in Bards Against Hunger; The Autoethnographer; Families, Systems, & Health; Listen: A Seeker’s Resource and Moonstone Arts Center Ekphrastic Poetry Anthology; and are forthcoming in Penwood Review and Stardust Review. I’ve studied with poets Judyth Hill, Christine Valters Paintner, Rusty Morrison, David Koehn, Jessica Jacobs, Morrie Creesh, and C.T. Salazar.
The driving force behind my art is an enduring interest in the earth and a belief that the spiritual can be found in the natural world. In my art, I make sculptural works from low-fired clay and glazes; and paintings from watercolor, ink and wash, to depict nature, using images to convey the mystical yet grounded and embodied nature of reality. My clay work retains the earthiness of terra cotta clay, and my work frequently depicts animals and nature. I frequently work with circular, flowing forms as mandalas, bleeding over the mandala circle as a child colors outside the lines, as the circle of life flows and overflows in messy, beautiful ways. I learned to draw – and discovered my love of art -- as a child from Aunt Mimi, a china and oil painter. I have studied watercolor and clay through workshops and classes by Laura Poss, Adele Wayman, Warren Moyer, and others at the Sawtooth Center for Visual Arts in Winston-Salem, NC, and from Stephen Jepson in Sanford, FL, Adrian Wistreich in Kinsale, Ireland, and Pam Brewer in Newland, NC.
My academic writing and teaching are at the intersection of contemplative and arts-based methods of understanding, and health, specifically in the areas of children’s health, end-of-life communication, and family disability. I write academic essays and books about people with illnesses and conditions that are incurable as they face revisions in their personal identity and narrative and negotiate the spaces between ‘well’ and ‘unwell,’ alive and dead, and power and marginalization. I was the founding director of UNC-Charlotte's Health and Medical Humanities program.
I was awarded an MA in Communication Studies (emphasis on Adult Creativity) from UNC-G, and a Ph.D. in Health Communication from the University of South Florida in 2005, I have certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Spiritual Direction, and I have trained as an End of Life Doula.