David James, adjunct associate professor of English at Hope College, is featured as a poet in the January 2014 issue of “Grand Rapids Magazine.”
The story, illustrated with a photo of James standing outside Van Zoeren Hall, discusses his development as a poet beginning at age 46 and reflects on his work since, which has included the collections “A Little Instability Without Birds,” “Lost Enough,” “Psychological Clock” and “Since Everything Is All I’ve Got.” His fifth book, “Why War,” is forthcoming later this year. As an author, 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 Summer Seminars, he also helped develop the college’s 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 an M.A. in English from the University of Iowa in 1980 and an MFA in poetry from Pacific University this past summer.