David Donavel ~

Writer, Teacher, Blogger...
Nonfiction Work~

In 1984 Andy Martinez and I produced our first magazine article, “A Look at Life Beneath the Sea,” for the now defunct Essex Life.  (There exists a magazine by the same name, but that one is published in England; ours was published in Gloucester, MA).  It was very exciting to get the assignment and I eagerly penciled a draft and then laboriously counted the words.  To my dismay, I discovered that I’d written far too much.  The story needed to be cut by a third.  Making those cuts was painful, but instructive.  The finished story was leaner and more readable and in my subsequent work for magazines I was careful to keep fluff out of the prose.  I’m not sure I always succeeded, but I never had to make such extensive cuts again.  All in all, I found magazine writing challenging in much the same way sonnet writing is challenging:  one must, within strict constraints, fashion something readable.  I suspect the best sonnets and the best articles are those that make the constraints invisible, leaving the reader with the sense that he’s encountered something spontaneous and vital.


Poetry and Short Fiction



“The Beach at Winter’s End,” Snowy Egret, Autumn 1975

“Love Poem,” Wind, (Vol. 7, No. 26) 1977

“The Joys of Creation,” Wittenberg Review, (Vol. 1, Issue 3) 1978

“Skipping Stones,” Wittenberg Review, (Vol 1, Issue 3) 1978

“Alewives,” The Kansas Quarterly, Fall 1978

“Approaching Boston From the North,” Wind, (Vol. 8, No. 31) 1978

“Quotidian,” Inlet, September 1981

“Love Story, 1981,” Firelands Review, 1981

“The Neighbor’s Divorce,” a poetry mag, 1982

“Late Fall: Wind,” the windless orchard, Fall-Winter 1982-3

“Ars Poetica,” The Cape Rock, Summer 1983

“An Historical Event,” The Cape Rock, Summer 1983

“Graduation,” Tendril, Winter 1983

Short Fiction

“Greely’s First Fish,” Seacoast Life, Spring 1990

“Steiger,” CPU Review, October 1992





“A Look at Life Beneath the Sea,” Essex Life, Spring 1984

“Save the babies: Strategies of marine animals to protect their young,” Sea Frontiers, May-June, 1985

“Ocean’s Autumn Haul, Lynn Magazine, October, 1985

“Wading Amid the Rockweed,” Nissan Discovery, January/February 1986

“Passive Predators,” Seacoast Life, Summer 1986

“Down Under: A North Shore Wilderness,” North Shore Life, August/September, 1988

“Needles and Pins,” Sea Frontiers, January-February 1989

“Lightshift: Life in the reef goes high gear at dusk” Sea Frontiers, May-June 1990

“Burying the Hatchet,” Sea Frontiers, August 1991

“Bringing Up Baby,” Wildlife Conservation, July-August 1996

“Local Color,” South Shore Magazine, Autumn 2001

“The Coral Reef,” “Bonaire, the Island Desert,” “Tiny Seas Along the North Coast,” “Autumn North of Boston” These are articles for undated, in-house corporate magazines published by Meridian Publishing, Ogden, UT

“Gimme Five,” Fathoms, Number Eighteen

“As Plain as the Face of the Fish,” Fathoms, Issue Twenty

“Bringing up Baby,” Fathoms, Issue Twenty-Two


“A Diver’s View of Paradise,” Cruising World, July 1988

“Micro Magic: Secrets of the Hidden Reef,” Humms Guide to the Reefs & Wrecks of the Florida Keys, Summer 1989

“Splendor in the Sea,” Caribbean Travel and Life January/February 1990

“Diver Down,” Sea, July 1990

“Under the Sea,” American Eagle Latitudes South January/February 1991

“Enchanted Islands,” Cruising WorldApril, 1991

“Reef Hazards,” Caribbean Travel and Life November-December 1991

“Ambon, Isle of Spice,” Fathoms, Issue Twenty-One


“What Is It,” Nautica April/May 1984

“Saving the Queen Conch,” National Geographic World August 1985

“Just Call Me Lucky,” Ranger Rick March 1987

“Animals Helping Animals,” Dolphin Log September 1987

“Living Color,” The Electric Company Magazine October 1987

“Where Do Fishes Live?” Dolphin Log March 1988

“Do They Mean to be Mean?” Dolphin Log May 1990

“The Queen’s Story,” Ranger Rick June 1990


“New England Shore Diving,” Skin Diver October 1984

“Halfway Rock,” Diver April/May 1985

“Beating Back Pain,” Skin Diver July 1985

“Quahogs,” Skin Diver September 1985

“Skates,” Skin Diver January 1986

“Halfway Rock,” Skin Diver February 1989

“Eastport, Maine,” Rodale’s Scuba Diving August 1993

“The Main Event,” Sport Diver August 1996

“Muck Luck,” Fathoms, Number Sixteen


“Winning Praise: How to Get Good College Recommendations, Campus Life, March 1987

“The College Application Essay,” Campus Life, October 1990

“Restructuring the High School: The Renaissance Program” 1990 Available as PDF file from the Educational Resource Information Center. LINK HERE..

“The End of the Renaissance,” Teacher Magazine, April, 1992

“High School: The American Walkabout,” The Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast & Islands, 1995