posted July 12, 2007

Chapbook of Poems by David James Published

The latest chapbook of poetry by David James of the HopeCollege faculty is his second publication in as many years.

James is the author of "Lost Enough," recently published by Finishing Line Press. James's chapbook "A Little Instability without Birds" was released last summer by the same publisher.

James describes "Lost Enough" as "fictionally autobiographical," and notes that the volume spins off of William Stafford's epigraph in the title poem: "If you're lost enough, then the experience of now is your guide to what comes next."

"We're all a product of our pasts, yes, but we really only live a series of now's, and that done consciously frees us from what may feel like the lostness of inevitability," James said. "There is always the next now."

Reflecting on the book, Leah Maines, who is an editor with Finishing Line and herself a published poet, drew upon the book's first poem, "A Moment Depends Not Just on Its Moment," noting, "We are all lost in our own little ways, and D.R. James reminds us that life is a mixed bag of memories 'whose smoky cook fires now flicker, / now flare on this or that nostalgic hillside,'"

"Finding our way is part of life's journey, and 'A generous peace depends on your history's / sad and stingy drudgery, and a restful season / of seeing who you might really be depends / on the eons of your not letting being, and on / the contrast with not knowing you didn't see,'" she said. "James's poems serve as revelations - life is about finding our way and losing our way, and finding it again."

James has been teaching writing and literature, and directing the writing and study skills tutoring program and the Summer Seminars, at Hope for 20 years, and helped develop Hope's initial PATH writing program for gifted and talented adolescents. Previously, he taught English, French and theatre at HollandHigh School, SaugatuckHigh School and the now long-closed St. Augustine Seminary for high school boys, formerly located in what is now SaugatuckDunesState Park. He has been a consultant to school districts and intermediate school districts on the teaching of writing at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, and facilitated an Ottawa-area writing project for teachers for three summers.

He graduated from Hope in 1976 with majors in English and French, and received his M.A. in English in 1980 from the University of Iowa.

Finishing Line Press is a poetry publisher based in Georgetown, Ky. In addition to its Chapbook Series, it publishes the New Women's Voices Series and sponsors the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition. Other recent Finishing Line Press releases include "Women Fresh from Water" by Jackie Bartley of the Hope English faculty and "Lip of Awareness" by former English faculty member Leon Raikes.

Copies of "Lost Enough" are available at the college's Hope-Geneva Bookstore, located on the lower level of the DeWittCenter on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street, and can also be ordered online at www.finishinglinepress.com.