James, David 1955-

views updated

James, David 1955-


Born 1955, in Detroit, MI; son of Lindon (a gas company service representative) and Sharon (a secretary) James; married Debra Marie Ketterer (a nurse), December 30, 1977; children: Collin David, Nathan Lindon, Leah Helene. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Western Michigan University, B.A., 1977; Central Michigan University, M.A., 1979; Wayne State University, Ed.D., 1998.


Home—Linden, MI. Office—Oakland Community College, 27055 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI 48334. E-mail—[email protected].


St. Clair Community College, Port Huron, MI, instructor in English, 1979-80; Siena Heights College, Adrian, MI, director of admissions, 1980-86; University of Michigan—Flint, Flint, MI, director of admissions, 1986-96; Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, MI, dean of academic and student services, 1996-2001, member of English faculty, 2001—.


Poetry grant, Michigan Council for the Arts, 1983.


A Heart Out of This World (poetry), Carnegie-Mellon University Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1984.

Do Not Give Dogs What Is Holy (poetry), March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 1994.

I Dance Back, March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 2002.

Like Ships in the Night (full-length play), produced in Flint, MI, at Buckham Alley Theater, 2002.

I Will Peel This Mask Off (poetry), March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 2004.

Trembling in Someone's Palm, March Street Press (Greensboro, NC), 2007.

Author of several one-act plays produced off-Broadway; another was produced in Massachusetts at Nantucket Theater. Contributor of poetry, short stories, and one-act plays to magazines, including Mid-American Review, Quarterly West, Parting Gifts, Driftwood Review, American Literary Review, Poetry Now, Paris Review, Main Street Poetry Journal, Sou'wester, and Cimarron Review.


David James told CA: "For me, writing is living. It's a way of organizing, observing, speculating, and imagining the world as it is and as it could be. I know fame and notoriety are long past, but I keep writing like it matters, and it does.

"In recent years I've branched out to write plays, and that has been a pleasant experience. For a lifelong poet, the idea of someone else saying my words combined with an actual audience is appealing. Writing is such a solitary activity. The prospect of watching others bring my words to life and seeing a reaction has drawn me to this genre, though I'm sure I'll die as a poet.

"As I get older, my poems have taken a more serious bent, dealing with time, aging, God, the inevitable. Each poem is like a prayer, or an important treaty, always trying to ask for more time or grace or forgiveness. In some respects I think my work allows me to face the future with my head up, a smile on, and a heart full of blessings."

About this article

James, David 1955-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article