posted June 2, 2011

David James Authors Collection of Poetry

The first full-length poetry collection by David James, as D.R. James, of the Hope College faculty reflects a life journey from loss to joy, with an emphasis on finding wonder in the moment whatever the stage.

"Since Everything Is All I've Got" has been published by March Street Press of Greensboro, N.C., and features work across the past decade.  James, who is an adjunct associate professor of English and senior associate with the college's Academic Support Center, has grouped the collection's 60 poems into three parts that show, he notes, "an upward trend from a fairly bleak outlook on life due to existential realities to a new appreciation for life and the now - which is why the title 'Since Everything Is All I've Got.'"

Poet Fred Marchant, author of the collections "The Looking House" and "Full Moon Boat," has described the collection as "D.R. James's book of wonders."

"It brims with the hard-earned wonder that comes through love and loss, and through his assay of the mysteries of the heart, the psyche, or the soul," Marchant said.  "These poems chart his journey to those moments when we sense that our lives - in joy and sorrow - are truly here and inescapably now and everything is all we have."

James's prior publications include three chapbooks of poetry, "Psychological Clock" and "Lost Enough," both published in 2007, and "A Little Instability without Birds," published in 2006, each of which previously featured some of the works in the new collection.  Others were previously published in "Diner," "The Grand Haven Tribune," "Hotel Amerika," "Oberon," "Rattle," "Ruminate" and "Sycamore Review."  James goes by D.R. rather than David to distinguish his work from that of another poet, David James, who writes from the east side of the state.

James has been teaching writing and literature at Hope since 1987, and helped develop Hope's initial PATH writing program for gifted and talented adolescents.  Former director of Hope's writing center and August Seminars, he also helped develop the college's most recent writing across the curriculum program and led summer faculty-development workshops on the teaching of writing.

Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he taught English, French and theatre at Holland High School, Saugatuck High School and the now long-closed St. Augustine Seminary for high school boys, formerly located in what is now Saugatuck Dunes State 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.

Copies of "Since Everything Is All I've Got" are available at the college's Hope-Geneva Bookstore, located on the lower level of the DeWitt Center on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street, as well as at Reader's World in downtown Holland.