Nancy Victoria Davis
Michael Rothenberg

Nancy Victoria Davis

Born in New York and raised in Ada, Alabama, Nancy Victoria Davis took the big bridge to California in 1975, and since then has surrounded herself with art and nature.

Nancy is a painter, illustrator, book designer, installation artist and co-founder of Shelldance Nursery, located in The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes Alcatraz, Angel Island, Point Reyes National Seashore.


Under Nancy’s guidance, Shelldance has been Voted Best Specialty Nursery in Northern California by San Francisco Magazine Shelldance. She supplied and consulted in the use of tropical plants for the creation of the Genesis Planet in "Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn".

Her horticultural experience has brought her to the attention of the Bay Area Media, where she has appeared on "Backroads" and "Evening Magazine". She has been featured in interview and public interest stories in The Pacifica Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, San Mateo Times and San Jose Mercury News, and featured in the legendary "Bay Area At Your Feet" column written by Margot Patterson Doss.

Davis worked to created the largest private bromeliad collection in the world.

In 1995 the government of Singapore government purchased the collection of 30,000 plants for creation of a bromeliad gardens in The Royal Botanic Gardens of Singapore. As a guest of the Singapore government she offered seminars in bromeliad plant culture to the botanical garden staff.

Nancy also worked with Strybing Arboretum, The Missouri Botanical Gardens, The Denver Botanical Gardens, The New York Botanical Gardens and other smaller gardens throughout the United States, selecting plants for exhibits. Nancy has personally given free tours to hundreds of civic groups, garden clubs, seniors and schools, and has repeatedly been recognized as a contributor to community activities in the Bay Area. At present she serves on the board of directors of the Pacifica Council for the arts.

In addition to her activities at Shelldance Orchid Gardens, Nancy has been inspired by poetry and illustrated the works of Joanne Kyger, Jim Harrison, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen, Michael McClure, Andrei Codrescu, and John Weiners.

She has been awarded The Rounce and Coffin Award for her design and illustration of "What The Fish Saw," and her broadside, "Elegy For The Dusky Seaside Sparrow" was chosen as Best Broadside of The Year by Fine Print Magazine.


Her work has been exhibited at the New York Public Library, the San Francisco Public Library, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery.

Her illustrations have appeared in art reviews such as Exquisite Corpse, Nerve Bundle Review, Mike & Dale's Younger Poets, enough, milk magazine, Cafe Review and others.

Nancy continues to paint and create, and to illustrate chapbooks, which can be found on-line at

Michael Rothenberg

Michael Rothenberg is a horticulturist, environmentalist, poet, and songwriter. He was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida.

After he received his BA in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, he moved to Pacifica, California and in 1976, he began Shelldance Nursery, a bromeliad and orchid nursery in with Nancy Victoria Davis and Bruce Rothenberg.

Over the past 25 years, Rothenberg has been a leading force in the protection of Bay Area coastal lands and endangered species. Rothenberg was one of the primary leaders in the movement that led to the acquisition of Sweeney Ridge by The National Park Service. As co-founder and President of Pacificans for Mori Point, he led the community efforts that resulted in the inclusion of Mori Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and his work on the Board of Directors of The Pacifica Land Trust led to the purchase of San Pedro Mountain for inclusion in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. He has also served as Planning Commissioner for the City of Pacifica.

On an International level, Michael has worked to increase public awareness on ecological issues. He acted as project coordinator for the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Earth Island Institute. He was co-founder and President of the International Consortium for Plant Conservation and founder and former director of the Conservation Committee of The Bromeliad Society International

His love of tropical plants, and the bromeliad family in particular, led him to the ponderous task of editing and publishing two botanical monographs, The Bromeliads and Bromeliaceae Andreaneae, which may be found in almost every major botanic library in the world, including New York Botanic Gardens, Longwood Gardens, Bibliotheque d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, California Academy of Sciences, Harvard Botany Library, Missouri Botanic Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Singapore Botanic Gardens, and others.

Rothenberg’s literary activities moved into prominence when in 1989 he and Nancy Victoria Davis founded Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, which published the works of Philip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, Jim Harrison, Andrei Codrescu, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, and others. Big Bridge Press books are archived by many major libraries in the United States, including Brown University, New York Public Library, and The University of San Francisco.

Pursuing his love of poetry and song, Rothenberg earned his MA in Poetics, and completed his thesis, Poetry and Popular Song in 1996. This led him to Nashville where he wrote songs and became project consultant for The Lynns, the twin daughters of Loretta Lynn, on their recording project with Warner Brothers, Nashville. His songs written with Johnny Lee Schell (guitarist for Bonnie Raitt, Ron Wood and John Fogarty) were selected for Hollywood Pictures' "Shadowhunter" and "Black Day, Blue Night." 1998- "Winds of West Texas", song written for The Drums of Grace, chosen by Taj Majal, for inclusion in TriStar Pictures’ "Outside Ozona”.

In 1997, Rothenberg began his acclaimed online publication, "Big Bridge, a webzine of poetry, art and everything else" ( Big Bridge online has been winner of The Mining Company “Best of the Net” award, featuring poetry, fiction, essays and art, includes works by Philip Whalen, Robert Creeley, Bernadette Mayer, David Meltzer, Jack Collom, and others. In 1998, Big Bridge online won the Poetry Superhighway “Best Online Publication” award.

In 1999, Rothenberg edited Overtime, Selected Poems by Philip Whalen (Penguin Putnam), co-founded Jack Magazine, an online publication collaboration with Mary Sands of Beat Generation News and published two books, his ecological mystery novel Punk Rockwell (Tropical Press, FL) and Paris Journals (Fish Drum, Inc.-NY).
That same year he co-founded Poets in Need, Inc., a non-profit foundation to support poets & writers in financial crisis.

Rothenberg has participated in various literary seminars including, “The Beats Now: Conversation with Icons and Editors of the Beat Generation” at Miami Book Fair International with Michael McClure, Diane Di Prima, and Ann Charters.

In 2001 he edited and published Goofbook for Jack Kerouac by Philip Whalen and began working on As Ever, Selected Poems by Joanne Kyger, (Penguin Putnam, Inc.) As Ever was chosen by Publisher’s Weekly as one of top 8 poetry books of 2002.

Rothenberg’s most recent books of poems include Unhurried Vision published by La Alameda Press/University of New Mexico Press and Grown Up Cuba, published by Il Begatto Press, Amsterdam.

Upcoming editorial projects include, David’s Copy, Selected Poems of David Meltzer (Penguin Books) and Selected Poems of Edward Dorn (Penguin Books)