In his latest chapbook of poetry, “Flip Requiem,” David James of the Hope College faculty, writing as D.R. James, takes a playful approach to form in exploring topics ranging from aging, to the arrival of spring, to Vincent Van Gogh’s 1886 painting “La Guinguette” and Miles Davis’s 1959 song “So What.”
“From meditations on aging to explorations of the future, from the beauty of the natural world to cosmic considerations, from ekphrastic (a whole section!) to experimental, from haiku to jazz, these poems reveal James’s depth and incredible range,” award-winning Michigan author Anne-Marie Oomen has said. “These are skilled and tender poems, both readable and surprising.”
“Flip Requiem” was published in February by Dos Madres Press Inc. The collection includes works previously published in a variety of poetry journals as well as new pieces.
James’s prior poetry publications include the full-length collections “If god were gentle” (2017) and “Since Everything Is All I’ve Got” (2011), and the chapbooks “Split Level” (2017), “Why War” (2014), “Psychological Clock” (2007), “Lost Enough” (2007) and “A Little Instability without Birds” (2006). In addition, his micro-chapbook “All Her Jazz” is printable-for-folding at the Origami Poems Project. He has had poetry and prose in numerous publications, such as Caring Magazine, Coe Review, Diner, Dunes Review, Friends of William Stafford Newsletter, Galway Review (Ireland), HEArt Online, Hotel Amerika, North Dakota Quarterly, Passager, Rattle, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Sycamore Review and Writer’s Digest, as well as in the anthologies “Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry” (2013) and “A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford” (2013). 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 is an adjunct associate professor of English at Hope, where he teaches writing and literature, and is coordinator of academic coaching with the college’s Academic Success Center. He has been a member of the faculty since 1987, and also taught at Hope full-time from 1982 to 1984.
Former director of Hope’s writing center and August Seminars, he helped develop the college’s writing across the curriculum program and led summer faculty-development workshops on the teaching of writing. He also helped develop Hope’s initial PATH writing program for gifted and talented adolescents.
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 several K-12 writing projects for Ottawa and Ionia County teachers.
James graduated from Hope in 1976 with majors in English and French. He received an M.A. in literature and composition from the University of Iowa in 1980, and an M.F.A. in poetry from Pacific University in 2013. He and his wife Suzy Doyle have six grown children and four grandchildren.
“Flip Requiem” is in paperback and retails for $18. The chapbook is available at the Hope College Bookstore on the lower level of the DeWitt Center, which is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue between 10th and 13th streets, and can be visited online at hope.edu/bookstore. The book is also available through the publisher or Amazon.