Thomas Davis Publication Reading

May 20, 2023 1:00PM—2:30PM


Novel Bay Booksellers, 44 N. 3rd Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Cost Free


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Write On is pleased to partner with Novel Bay Booksellers to celebrate the publication of The Prophecy of the Wolf, the latest novel by author Thomas Davis.


Thomas Davis has published, in addition to his new novel, The Prophecy of the Wolf, five novels, including In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams that won the Edna Ferber Fiction Award, three books of poetry, two epic poems, and one book of nonfiction about the history of the sustainable forest and its development on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

Davis was also involved for decades in the tribal colleges and universities movement in the United States, serving as the President or Chief Academic Officer of six colleges.  He retired as the Provost of Navajo Technical University on the Navajo Nation before moving to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin nearly eleven years ago. 

During his career in American Indian education, he also helped found College of the Menominee Nation and the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium, an organization dedicated to working with indigenous populations to found higher education institutions throughout the world.

He serves as the Door County Poet Laureate for 2023-2025, along with his wife, poet and visual artist Ethel Mortenson Davis.


If it’s true, as I suspect, that most of us have only the most vague notions of the time when the French were exploring and exploiting the interior of North America, and perhaps have no realistic notion at all of the Native peoples with whom they would interact, then I think this brilliantly researched and imagined historical novel will bring us one giant step closer to clarity in our thinking of that time and place.  That we may also gain some clarity in our thinking of cultural and familial relationships is a bonus.

Told in the voice of its very uncertain boy-becoming-man (non)hero, Ogima, Davis’ story leads his reader, in an entertaining and mythic manner, through the woods and over the waters of real-world places – villages, islands, and a peninsula – and also through a belief system in large part erased since the time portrayed, which is the very dawning of recorded history in this part of the world, although the oral tradition reaches back to time immemorial, and is the basis for much of what we learn here.

Ralph Murre, Door County Poet Laureate, 2015-2017, editor, and publisher

Set in a time of great turmoil and with a framework of crucial historical events, Prophecy of the Wolf, a gripping tale, is primarily about a young Neshnabek man, Ogima, who doubts his own abilities. Following our protagonist, we plunge deep into cultures just beginning to feel the clash between Europeans, represented by French fur traders in the novel, and American Indian tribes that will soon grip the entire North American continent. Set in the mid 1600s, this adventure, set on the Door Peninsula and Washington Island in Wisconsin, involves some of the earliest known historical figures on the Great Lakes.

Thomas Davis, the well-known author of In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams, is a master of taking a few stray threads of elusive history and weaving from them a masterful tapestry. His works are full of historical and cultural gems, but, above all, deep personal insights into interesting and compelling individuals. The connections become more significant the more you know about early French and Potawatomi history in Wisconsin but will pull you in on whatever level you embark on this amazing tale!

David Lea, local Door County historian